Archive for February, 2010

Imbolc: Epiphany +5

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw God sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of Her robe filled the temple.  Seraphim were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of God’s glory.”  The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.              (Isaiah 6:1-4)

Holy, Holy, Holy One, God of Power, God of Love, Heaven and Earth are full of your Glory … Hosannah through all Creation!

This ancient angelic hymn of praise, heard by the prophet Isaiah in a vision in the Temple, is called the Trisagion or “Thrice-Holy”.  It is part of the ritual core of the eucharist in most Christian liturgical traditions around the world.  The focus in this hymn is the Holy One, the Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer of all things, and it is meet and right that the song of praise should focus first of all on God’s holiness.  But it is also interesting, from a Sophian perspective, that the prayer then directly moves into a joyous assertion that the Glory of God fills the entire creation, the heavens and the earth.  Indeed, for a Sophian, this Glory of God is none other than the very Spirit of God, Sophia Herself.  She permeates the creation, igniting the web of the world with a shimmering powerful light.  At the heart of the eucharist, at the heart of the world, Wisdom dwells, gathering all Her children in Love.  Hosannah through all Creation!

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Imbolc: Candlemass

Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.
     (Luke 2: 29-32)

This week sees the turning of the wheel from the season of Yule to that of Imbolc.  In the old Celtic countries (where climates are a wee bit warmer than here on the Canadian prairies!), Imbolc was the first of the spring festivals.  It was a very old agricultural festival, based on the lambing season.  It was also a festival of light, sacred to Brigid, goddess of healing, smithcraft, and inspiration.  When early Christian missionaries made their way throughout the Celtic countries in the first centuries after Christ, they recognized the importance of building on the existing traditions of the peoples they encoutered.  This festival of fire and light became linked with the passage from Luke’s gospel celebrating the recognition of Jesus as the “Light of the World”, later called candlemass (with reference to the blessing of candles which occured at this ceremony).

From a Sophian perspective, the Creator’s Spirit and Wisdom are present throughout all creation.  The Light of God is the Love of God, or rather the God who IS Love.  For me, that is the true nature of the salvation to which Simeon (and Anna) bore witness.  Jesus revealed, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that God is Love.  And where there is Love, there is God. 

Where is Love in your life these days?  Where is Love in the world around you?  Look for Her, pray for Her, and you too shall become Light for the world.   Thanks be to Sophia!

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