Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trinity Sunday 2013--A reflection on Psalm 8:4

A man steps onto a palace balcony, looking down from Jerusalem, through the cool and windy night at the eerily wilderness far off—dust riding on the sky—shimmering.
         He shivers and looks up:
“Oh how can God be God?
         “From the lips of babes, those small gentle things—so small, there God is.
         “But there” he says, pointing up, “there are God’s fingerprints, firmly planted on the moon and the stars.
         “God immanent—God transcendent. God as close as my lungs and as ephemeral as my breath. Filling and eclipsing the world.
         “Such a strange God! Such a Great God are You!
         “What are we humans, that you are mindful of us? What are we children of earth, that you care for us?”

         And—out of the heavens and from the caverns and crevasses of his heart—comes a reply from the Triune God.

         Child of Earth—Speaks God through the moon-illuminated sand,
You are my creation! I knelt down into the mud and formed you. Even if I lost you and found you much later—I’d be filled with joy, because I found my mud-man. I found the product of my toil. I found you, my creation!

         My creation—but more too—you are caretaker of that same earth that I formed you from… responsible for your self and your surroundings.
         I said, “Keep the garden.” Just as I said to Moses, “Keep the Commandments and keep the Sabbath.”
         I said, “Look, you are made in Our Image.”
You are the image that marks this earth as Mine! When you are seen you are my message saying, “The World is God’s.”
         Oh, you have Dominion over your Sisters and Brothers—yes, but I don’t think you know what that word means. You are the princeling—the member of the court taking care of things while the King is away, you are holding this world for me.

         You are also a student of creation. Oh how Wisdom—a daughter draftsperson, a blueprint of the world as it is—teaches you, if you’ll listen.
         Yes, study the world with great diligence and you’ll discover deep delight. It is the height of my joy when you get wisdom and get insight observing and learning from the world you live in. My world—Our world.

         A very human voice of God coming from Jerusalem itself—a Jerusalem yet to be—says, Child of Earth—have you not heard?—you are little lower than gods.
In fact, I will dwell among you! Though you are captive, you have seen a great light—I the only Son of God redeem you that you might have eternal life. Right from this spot I will forgive, teach, die, rise. Because I love you.
         In your very flesh I will come. Yes, you are God-bearers, you human beings.

         Oh, yes, you fellow sufferers.
         Yes, you will find grace in your suffering.
         You will find glory in your hope.
         Because I am there. Because I, God, am there—am here. Through suffering to resurrection—I am the first fruit—that you who suffer still, might endure, might be built up in character, because you have a sure hope in me—this I promise.
         Because you are fruit on the vine just as I am.
         Don’t be silly—you want to brush off the word suffering—because you don’t consider your suffering worthy of the word
         or maybe you think your suffering is beyond my mercy or my understanding.
Look at me right now—your sufferings are my sufferings, my grace and glory is your hope.

         And a third, time—from the cool evening air—a wind and a voice of God—comes calling, saying:
Child of Earth! You have been declared Child of God.
         I am your adoption papers—I am the ink connecting your branch to My family tree. I shout to the highest hills “Christ’s kinship with God, is yours.”
         Yours. Yours. Yours. Yours. Yours.
         You are united to God. Yes! I come down to you just as I came down to Jesus as a dove declaring, “This is my beloved—with him I am well pleased.”

         But I come to you as a tongue of flame as well. Connecting you to God’s whole family—to your plethora of siblings—to the millions upon millions upon millions of women and men who are your sisters and brothers.
Don’t you know human, you have a multitude of members
I unite you to one another, that all may be one.

         I rumble within you—moving you to act like Christians, act like Children of God, act like the community you are as you go forward to find who you are.

         I rumble within you—prayers too light for words and prayers too heavy for humankind to bear.

         After that, silence.
         And the man sits with these words of the Triune God for a time—watching the dust in the moonlight, feeling the full weight of Jerusalem—future echoes—and being kissed by the chilly wind.
         And then says a second time:
         “Such a strange God! Such a Great God are You!”
         What are we humans, that you are mindful of us? What are we children of earth, that you care for us?