The God of Many Names
Yesterday while passing a Christian Science Reading Room, I noticed a poster in the window with a long and impressive list expressing the many names of God. As a child growing up in that religion I learned that God is Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Love, and Spirit. I was delighted to see that the list had grown into a large poster with three columns listing the names of God. Examples from Christian mythology included “All-Knowing,” and “Redeemer.”
A fragment of a great Agape hymn came forward in my mind, “Atman, Jevovah, Krishna, …” expanding on the names of God. Recognizing that there is no way that the human mind can catch all that God is, what I find so amazingly beautiful is the incredible variety though which human beings have tried to catch the awesome power of the divine. Through time and culture names and stories appear attempting to open hearts and minds to the Great Presence, the Creator that early Hebrew tribes referred to as the un-nameable. How incredible it is that throughout history tender humans have longed for and tried to know that which has created, nurtured, and comforted them. As Joseph Cambell’s life work illustrated, the stories and the desire to explain and understand this Creative Force seems to be a part of our DNA.
One of my favorite names is Most High. This morning it comforts me to visualize the Shepherd and the ‘Everlasting Arms.’ I also love to think of God as the new life in a kitten, warming itself in the morning sun. What are some of the ways that God is known by you?