Contributed by Board Member, The Rev. Sarah Person
O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us – make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands.
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to each other.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
“The Lord’s Prayer”, translated from the Aramaic by Neil Douglas-Klotz in Prayers of the Cosmos
In Jesus’s time and place, Hebrew was the language of the temple and Aramaic was the language of the people, the language of commerce between strangers and of everyday life. The Aramaic language is layered in meaning. It was a language of the desert, of crowded metropolises and vast expanses that offered the only real privacy, the only real silence to hear the still and quiet voice within. There were few walls to keep us from the sky and the sand and the mountain and the sea. The Aramaic tongue is a language rich with poetry and subtlety. The divine presence was everywhere, and in everything, and our boundaries and nations and rulers were secondary. God’s tent of meeting was all around us. Aramaic is moveable, permeable; the line between inner qualities and outer actions is blurred. There is a tension between them. That which is outside of us seeks to be reconciled with what is inside of us. And through it all is the perception of a vital essence vibrating through all creation. In this language, Jesus strove to reconcile the inner life with the outward behavior: Love the self and the neighbor. Our heart’s intentions mean as much or more to God than our actions. This permeability between our inner and outer selves is the place of prayer. Hope is how we begin to align our outward actions with our inward qualities. Prayer is being in relationship. They become one.
The Unitarian and Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson conceived of something like this essential oneness of all creation in his essay “The Over-soul.” Among his themes, he explored the nature of the soul, and the relationship of the soul to God. For some of us, the notion of a divine spark within us is profane. For others, it opens up a sense of true and eternal belonging. If that which is immortal and of ultimate worth in each of us is that which connects us to all creation – then we owe it to ourselves and each other to expand our sense of responsibility and beauty and witness beyond our egos and toward our world. To raise God’s tent of meeting all around us