It is time to seek the LORD – Hosea 10:12

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Well, it’s not such a bad way to approach a new year, with renewed seeking, putting the first things first. But how do we cope with that all-capitalized word, LORD, that appears in many translations of the Bible? For many modern readers, it’s an outright obstacle, one that even strikes a hostile response. We Americans have no first-hand sensation of living under an absolute monarchy or, more in tune with our times, a ruthless dictatorship. Either way, the word stirs up an image of an aloof,  authoritarian, even ruthless male we’d rather not encounter, if we could help it.

But this all-capitalized word actually extends a quite different vision – an infinity, a mystery that is sometimes written as the four letters we see as YHWH and read as “Hashem,” or “the word of the word of God,” a deity that is not to be named. Many more possibilities exist in an attempt to acknowledge this vastness, which I leave to your exploration. Moreover, in the Hebrew Bible, this is hardly the only term used to tell of the Holy One. (El-, Jeho-, -iah, Adhonai, for starters.)

Scripture also relates some very personal encounters of this experience, culminating in Jesus’ relationship expressed as one with Abba, “Daddy!,” or more formally, the Father. Either way, it’s intense.

And so, as much as I dislike the making of New Year’s resolutions, I have no qualms with opening the year with a resolution to turn my attention and awareness more fully to this Holy One, in all of its manifestations before me.

Thee is welcome to do likewise.

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May the Lord lead us rightly in all we undertake in his name and his love.

In the Love of Christ, thy brother …

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