Alison Newvine created this video with lyrics I wrote to a familiar Christmas carol tune, and photos by Elaine Chan-Scherer, Lori Figueroa and Carol Schlesinger. This carol is sung by Alison and others in Spiral Muse—Dionne Kohler, Kathleeen Neville Fritz and Lana Dalberg.
Our weary world in anguish cries, longing for Her rebirth;
we yearn to bring Sophia nigh, longing for Her rebirth.
When will Her peace and love increase? When will all know Her worth?
Sophia yearns to help us learn Wisdom for Her rebirth.
For ages long Sophia’s song rings out through all the earth;
we seek today Her peaceful way, longing for Her rebirth.
Wisdom Sophia helps us see everyone’s sacred worth;
with voices strong we sing Her song, longing for Her rebirth.
Words © 2017 Jann Aldredge-Clanton COVENTRY CAROL
Wisdom is an ancient divine image, common to many religious traditions. “Wisdom” is Hokmah in the Hebrew Scriptures and Sophia in Greek in the Christian Scriptures. Divine Wisdom existed before creation and took part in creation. “Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth” (Proverbs 8:23).
So whatever happened to Wisdom? In all my years growing up in church I never heard of God as Wisdom. I never heard God referred to as “She,” even though the Bible uses Wisdom as a female personification of God and refers to Wisdom as “She.” “Happy are those who find Wisdom. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with Her. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of Her; those who hold Her fast are called happy” (Proverbs 3:13,15,17-18).
More than ever, our country and our world are in deep need of Wisdom. But Wisdom and other female divine images continue to be excluded, as women have been excluded from leadership and still are in many religious traditions. Wisdom is sadly missing. Instead of Wisdom, we have racism, sexism, misogyny, heterosexism, and other injustices. Instead of Wisdom, we have violence. Instead of Wisdom, we have greed. Instead of inclusive images of Deity that affirm all human beings as created in the divine image, we have exclusive images that devalue more than half of humanity. We need Wisdom and other female divine images so that there will be justice for females and for all human beings. Without Wisdom we all suffer.
Our weary world longs for Her rebirth. We all long for Her rebirth. All creation longs for Her rebirth.
“Longing for Her Rebirth” is one of the Advent and Christmas carols in the new collection Inclusive Songs for Resistance & Social Action.