An Epiphany gift to you: Vocal Divine singing “What Wondrous Thing” at Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran in San Francisco (Pastor Stacy Boorn).
Vocal Divine (left to right): Lana Dalberg, Dionne Kohler, Alison Newvine, and Kathleen Neville Fritz.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F4Ctwr9hHw&feature=youtu.beWhat wondrous thing is happening here where minds and souls are opening? The scales fall off our blinded eyes; new sight arouses hoping. A new thing springs forth on the earth, with blessing, hope, and healing; the power of Woman saves all life, Sophia-Christ revealing. Epiphany surrounds us now, as we reclaim our wholeness, Sophia-Christ within us all, inspires us with new boldness. REFRAIN Look, look, for She is here; Her Wisdom words have long been near. Now, now, behold Her grace, Divinity in Her image.
Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians (Eakin Press, 2006).
Epiphany is the traditional Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi. “Epiphany” has come to mean “any revelation of divine being.” Revelations of divinity surprise us with newness, just as the revelation of divine being lying in an animal feeding trough startled the Magi.
The fullness of divinity has long been hidden under layers of exclusively masculine sacred images. Female divine images may at first startle us with their unexpectedness. Because of our culture’s long devaluing of females, we may even feel that female names are not lofty enough to carry divinity, just as the Magi must have at first wondered if divine revelation could come in the form of a small infant in a manger.
The early church believed that Jesus was a revelation of Sophia (Greek for “Wisdom”). Early Christians associated Jewish wisdom literature’s personified Sophia with Jesus, believing Jesus to be the incarnation of divine Sophia. But many Herods along the path of Christian history, in order to secure their own power, have tried to destroy the revelation of divine Sophia. Sophia has been hidden, but She could never die.
This song, “What Wondrous Thing” also refers to Jeremiah 31:22: “God has created a new thing on the earth: a woman protects a man.” That “new thing” that began long ago in Jeremiah’s day is springing up on a larger scale today as individuals, churches, and other organizations discover the great need for women’s gifts for the healing of our world. As Bridget Mary Meehan, Bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, states, “Women priests remind us that women are equal symbols of the Holy. Females and males are created equally in God’s image. Until we integrate the Divine Feminine in our religious systems, in our structures, and in our whole approach to life, we will be flying on one wing. We will not be whole. We will have the patriarchal domination continuing, and that obviously is leading the world and religion to destruction. The patriarchal model is not working for people. It’s not of the Spirit.”
Now the egalitarian model is emerging, including women’s gifts and power to save life. “Look, look, for She is here; Her wisdom words have long been near. Now, now, behold Her grace, Divinity in Her image.”
Vocal Divine creates music for Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, San Francisco (http://www.herchurch.org, and plans to branch out to more venues in the coming year. Here is an excerpt from the church’s mission statement: “Our mission is to embody and voice the prophetic wisdom and word of the Divine Feminine, to uplift the values of compassion, creativity and care for the earth and one another. Our purple church is home to a diversity of spiritual traditions and perspectives that are woven together to create a strong, stretchy fabric that provides everyone with ample room to grow. We are committed to acts of justice and peace as we help shift the worldview from domination systems to mending and caring for the web-of-life.”
Vocal Divine released their first CD, “HER Sacred Songs,” in November. To purchase this CD, contact Alison Newvine: firstname.lastname@example.org.