A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Day 28: Give Up, Take On, Pray

Our images of God matter. 

Just as how we conceptualize God affects what we think the Christian life is about, so do our images of God.   ~ Marcus Borg* 1942-
           Have you ever thought about what your image of God is? There have been lifelong influences, some more unconscious than others. In your mind does he look like the illustrations in Children's Bibles, photos of Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, the ultimate grandfather or, the ultimate disciplinarian? What about Jesus - sun-tanned, blue eyed European with long flowing locks sun-kissed by expensive-looking highlights or a middle eastern semite, a young Jewish man from Palestine?  And, the Holy Spirit - an upside down white dove? 
            Of course it's easier to relate to and feel comfortable with someone we can picture in our minds. Have you ever had the experience of meeting up with an old friend from school - you have that old photo in your mind and suddenly you're confronted with the reality.  Perhaps it all works fine or perhaps the memory and the reality are difficult to mesh. Just as we watch children grow from newborns, to toddlers, older children, teens, young adults...and just as we sometimes want to hold on to them at a certain moment in time, it's important for our relationship with them to recognize them as they are. 
           Obviously we don't have the luxury of knowing what God looks like, but we can look at how or if our early ideas about the image of God has, or hasn't evolved and what that means to us. 
            Sr. Sandra Schneiders, IHM, STD, Professor Emerita of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley has said, "God is more than two men and a bird."
            What does your Trinity look like - how does that affect your prayer, your relationship, your sense of who God is in your life?

Dear God,
       I'm concerned that I might have the wrong image of You in my mind. I want so much to capture the right picture of You in my imaginings - all of You, the Trinity ~ God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, so that I can feel that I'm relating to You correctly. And yet somehow that doesn't seem quite right, either.  Well then, for today I'll give up trying to appropriate someone else's image of You.  I'll take on thinking about how I am made in Your image.  I'll pray for the security and freedom to let You out of the box I keep trying to keep You in. And as I evolve in my relationship with You, perhaps I will be able to realize that all I need to do to see You in my mind's eye, is to look in the mirror and at those all around me and then I will see the Face of My Trinity.  amen.

*Marcus Borg, is a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and now retired Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University.  A progressive Christian with a significant record of scholarship and research of the Historical Jesus, a prolific author and lecturer, and known internationally through videos and television, Borg has also been a frequent collaborator with other theologians with whom he both agrees and disagrees.  He remains one of the most recognized and influential theologians of today. 

Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.