Expecting the Word – Advent One – Tuesday

My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

If you are following along in the devotional reading, be sure to read the note about YHWH. I have a friend who is a Christian pastor, married to a devout Jew. She is always careful to write G-d. She says that modern Jews always address the Holy One as You, and never talk “about” G-d by name, saying the Holiness or the Holy One.

This is a day for you to read the scripture in both the NRSV and the Inclusive Bible. (I also looked it up in the Jerusalem Bible.) The Inclusive Bible and the Jerusalem Bible both say “Let your face smile on us” in verses 3, 7 and 19, while the NRSV says “Let your face shine.” The smile of G-d is enough to make us safe – to save us. I love the image of a beaming G-d, being so pleased with all of us that the Holy smile is enough to keep us eternally safe, enfolded in infinite Love.

Since we’re being picky about “words” today, this is as good a time as any for me to restate I am uncomfortable with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I much prefer Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. I even have a friend who insists that while Jesus was male when He walked this earth, the risen Christ was neither male, nor female, but both – like the rest of the Trinity. Big Al doesn’t understand my angst with using male pronouns for G-d, but then he has not had to live his entire life as an “other”.

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