God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh,the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. Exodus 3:14-15
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. Matthew 6:9
Why would the way we address God change?
Have you seen anyone play parkour? What a crazy sport! Imagine a monkey, a lizard and Chuck Norris are one creature. That creature runs up walls, flips and jumps from concrete cliffs without dying.
If you die while playing parkour, then you do not win. To stay alive, you must learn to be flexible and roll when you land.
I am trying to land softly and roll. The world I knew, especially the ecclesiastical one, is moving fast and I am having a hard time keeping up. I want to avoid a face plant and learn to start rolling.
I was with some friends who have difficulty with some traditional Christian language used to address God. I find this language comforting and familiar. I want to be in relationship with these folks, but when I insist my understanding of how to address God is “biblical” and dig in my heels and become defensive, I tend to face plant. (You will know you have face planted when everyone goes home angry, and you have once again lost a friend.)
The crux of one such conversation concerns the pronouns we use for God. My friends find the masculine way in which we commonly address our God to be alienating. They would say the masculine names and pronouns are rooted in a patriarchal system and seem to emphasize a “maleness” that is oppressive. I want to roll with this one. I am new to Christian parkour so I expect a few face plants along the way.
I have an offering. A way to address God that is simple and faithful to my understanding of the Bible. This is my awkward attempt to roll and be flexible:
Dearest God, my Loving Parent (Father)
Dearest God, my Perfect Sibling (Son)
Dearest God, my Un-Embodied Comforter (Holy Spirit)
Face plant or roll?