God is the ultimate source from which all things find their meaning and purpose. But in the Hebrew Bible, there is no word for God. Rather, God is known by many names. By what names do you know God, and how do the names you choose have the potential to transform the world?
Magnificent God, Your grace individually called us here by name. You know who we’ve been, who we are, and who we are becoming. You’ve journeyed with us into this space and You’ve promised not to leave us. Transform us. Reveal Yourself. Reveal Your ways. Disclose Your will. Teach us Your Names and illuminate who we are in You. With every breath, receive the petitions of your children. Center us on all that is You and all that You call us to do in Your Name and for Your glory. You’re our Healer. You’re our Comforter. Name-Giver, All Sufficient One, lead us. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
In the gift of this moment, we affirm that we are divinely loved and lovable.
We are the children of God.
Together, we will learn from the actions and words of one another.
Christ’s lessons on love are centered in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves.
We will exercise courage in this study as we share stories of struggle and strength.
We will stay at the table and receive those stories with grace.
We will not be afraid to launch into the deep.
We will commit to the vulnerability necessary to allow God to break us open.
We will set and respect boundaries and honor confidentiality together.
When uncertainty arises, we will remember the Spirit of “peace that passes our own understanding” and can intercede for us.
We will remember that even when we don’t feel “United,”
The uniting love of Christ can reveal a pathway to greater
wisdom and mutual respect.
No matter what, there is a place for each one of us in this study together.
Let us hold each other up in prayer, hold each other accountable in love, and
trust that our God is making all things new.
Thank you for the gift of being present to one another in this holy time.
Exodus 3:13-15; Genesis 16:13-14; 22:9-14
With Rabbi Joshua Martin Siegel, now retired, started and served as rabbi of the Columbia Jewish Center in Columbia, Md.
HEAD & HEART DISCUSSION
PRAYER AND PATHWAY TO JOURNALING
Often, when we become reflexively resistant to what we’ve experienced through study, it is pointing towards an area worthy of more reflection and prayer. In this part of study, we invite you to examine your areas of resistance or struggle. Allow God to reveal how transformation can occur in those areas.
Use these open-ended questions to facilitate your introspection:
El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (The Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord my Provider)
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
“I dare not insist upon any one's using the word Trinity, or Person. I use them myself without any scruple, because I know of none better: But if any man has any scruple concerning them, who shall constrain him to use them I cannot: Much less would I burn a man alive, and that with moist, green wood, for saying, ‘Though I believe the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; yet I scruple using the words Trinity and Persons, because I do not find those terms in the Bible.’ I would insist only on the direct words, unexplained, just as they lie in the text: ‘There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: And these three are one.’"