I was never good at poetry, all that fancy language with hidden meanings; racking my brain getting a headache trying to figure out why the poet just couldn't say what they had to say. As I've gotten older I grown to appreciate language and imagery, implied meanings and hints of the possibilities of words.
The world of religion is best expressed in the language of poetry. With the language of poetry, the beauty of God, the vastness of time and space, and the intricacies and intimacies of life can be expressed in words that take us to a higher place, a newer understanding, maybe even change us a little.
The rationalists, the concrete thinkers will find our language foolish; the non-religious will find our images laughable, the newly or marginally religious will simply scratch their heads. But to those who want to explore the depths of meaning, the possibilities of existence, religion encourages you to let go.
What drew me to write post this was a hymn we sung in worship a couple of weeks back. Taken literally it sounds somewhat ludicrous and the jokes can begin, but jokes only belie the point. The hymn is an appreciation of the magnificence of God and the contentedness of creation, and was written many years ago. If you take the time to read it slowly, I hope it brings you just a moment of peace.
All creatures, worship God most high! Sound ev'ry voice in earth and sky: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Sing, brother sun, in splendor bright; sing, sister moon and stars of night:
Alleluia! (Alleluia means, Praise God)
Sing, brother wind; with clouds and rain you grow the gifts of fruit and grain: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Dear sister water, useful, clear, make music for your Lord to hear:
Sing, brother fire, so mirthful, strong, drive far the shadows, join the throng: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Dear mother earth, so rich in care, praise God in colors bright and rare:
All who for love of God forgive, all who in pain and sorrow grieve: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ bears your burdens and your fears; still make your song amid the tears:
And you, most gentle sister death, waiting to hush our final breath: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Since Christ our light has pierced your gloom, fair is the night that leads us home.
O sisters, brothers, take your part, and worship God with humble heart: Alleluia! Alleluia!
All creatures, bless the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Three in One: