Huge numbers of people who have lived in slavery their entire lives are suddenly able to go marching forth—with God leading them with giant pillars of cloud and fire!
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In all the redemptive glory, however, we can fail to notice the internal dynamic at play. Not only is freedom dawning within each Israelite and within the community, but also awakening is purpose.
A well-known passage from the Psalms can focus our attention. Not only is it manifest in the world—in nature and in supernatural events, it has entered the people of Israel and will be manifest on the human level.
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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the field of historiography was taking shape—and being influenced by Darwinism, scholars saw in civilizations the life patterns of species and organisms. And in those same seminary years, I was introduced to feminist, womanist, and mujerista theologies. Williams, Emilie M. Townes, and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, women who saw God as more than a white man, even going so far as to identify God within their own experience—God as a black woman, as a chica joven in labor, as a mother bear, God as , a God who entered into my own and experience and saw it, saw me, as holy.
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I learned about the necessity of viewing all things in context. Any reading of the Bible is a cross-cultural experience , meaning we will almost always misunderstand things because we are outside of the context in which it was written. The greatest lesson that I keep returning to in terms of our language around God is that everything, every epitaph or curse or name, everything we ever call God is but a metaphor.
No words can encompass who and what and how God is. Thus, I believe, we must be deeply intentional about our language for God, especially in church, and we must notice who and what is left out in our imaginings of God.
Using feminine imagery for God has become a deeply healing experience for me. When I hear God referred to with feminine pronouns I am reminded that I am included, loved, seen by my God.
I am reminded that in truth all gender is false, merely a helpful and harmful categorization for people. We are children of God, expressions of our Creator, regardless of our chromosomal makeup or identifications—we all reflect our Creator, uniquely, especially, intentionally.www.hiphopenation.com/mu-plugins/whitfield/free-hot-dating-site-in.php
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And as such, we must talk about Her, about Him, about Them, with language and words that recall us to our inclusion, our belovedness, and the vastness of God. This is the second in our series on disrupting, reclaiming and expanding parts of Christian language, tradition and ritual for our lives and experiences here and now. Our love for God sustains the world; and fills our lives and all religious communities with meaning.
In fact each of us has a deep-seated need to love and to be loved. It feels good to care about another person, to belong to a group of people who share a history, an ethos, and a vision for the future. Over the millennia, the Jewish people have cultivated a loving relationship through deeds of holiness, acts of loving-kindness, and the ongoing study of Torah, the accumulated record of our relationship with God.
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Israel is not the only chosen people. Says the Lord. Israel is a chosen people because at Sinai the Jewish people chose to be chosen, thus becoming the first to be a chosen people and a holy community. Others, who have individually chosen to be part of a kind and loving religious community, also have the Divine dwelling in their hearts. But in our case, the covenant at Sinai involved an entire people.
This Jewish experience at Sinai is also referred to in the Oral Torah. When God offered all the newly freed slaves the Torah, a party of them hesitated.