More Carols for Justice and Peace

Lana Dalberg, Dionne Kohler-Newvine, Alison Kohler-Newvine, Kathleen Neville Fritz
Devi Vaani: Lana Dalberg, Dionne Kohler-Newvine, Alison Kohler-Newvine, Kathleen Neville Fritz

Words matter. Recent events in our country show the power of words to incite prejudice and hatred. Words of love, justice, and peace have greater power. Words we sing have the greatest power to bring transformation because the music embeds the words in our memories. Devi Vaani sings stanzas 2 & 3 of “Come to Our World, O Christ-Sophia”  (to a familiar carol tune) at Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran in San Francisco (Pastor Stacy Boorn). This is one of the songs on the Christmas album “Sing of Peace.”

Come to our world, O Christ-Sophia, Wisdom;
our hearts are longing for Your peaceful way.
Lead us from fear and bondage into freedom;
with You we labor to bring Your new day.
Transform our world, O Christ-Sophia, Wisdom;
the poor and wounded await healing days.
Give us the power to sound Your call to freedom;
as equal partners, we show Your new way.
Led by Your Truth and Life within us growing,
we follow You on Your pathways of peace.
Filled with Your grace, Your loving kindness showing,
we share our gifts and our visions release.
Our weary world still longs for new creation,
for peace and justice coming to the earth.
Hope springs anew; we sing in celebration;
O Christ-Sophia, blessed be Your birth;
O Christ-Sophia, blessed be Your birth.

Words  © Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice (Eakin Press, 2011).

“Christ-Sophia” is a biblical symbol of the Divine, making equal connections between male and female, black and white, Jewish and Christian traditions, thus providing a foundation for communities based on partnership instead of domination. Sophia, the Greek word for Wisdom, is a biblical female divine image that opens new possibilities for justice, liberation, and new life. New Testament writers link Christ to Wisdom, a feminine symbol of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Wisdom (Hokmah in Hebrew) symbolizes creative, redemptive, and healing power. In their efforts to describe this same power in Christ, the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers draw from the picture of Wisdom. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the “power of God and the Wisdom (Sophia) of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and states that Christ “became for us Wisdom (Sophia) from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). The book of Proverbs describes Wisdom as the “way,” the “life,” and the “path” (4:11,22,26).  The Gospel of John refers to Christ as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Bringing this biblical connection of Christ and Sophia to our worship can inspire partnerships that contribute to peace and justice in our world. Christ-Sophia inspires continual new birth.  Christ-Sophia empowers us to make the vision of the new creation a reality. Celebrate the birth of Christ-Sophia!

Devi Vaani sings “Our Mother Within Us” (to a familiar carol tune). This is another one of the songs on the Christmas album “Sing of Peace.”

Our Mother within us so holy and blessed,
You nurture our spirits with comfort and rest.
O give us your wisdom and strength for each day,
and fill us with love for all people we pray.
Our Mother within us, so many your names,
revealing our power, you help us to claim
our voices of courage to speak against wrong,
and joy overflowing to sing a new song.
O Mother within us, forever abide,
with blessings unfolding and arms open wide;
You give us new visions of life full and fair;
Your angels surround us with tenderest care.

Words  © Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians (Eakin Press, 2006).

Although many churches limit God to male names and images, Scripture does not limit God to maleness. The Bible gives a multiplicity of divine names and images, including female divine names and images. Maternal divine names and imagery occur throughout the Bible. The prophet Isaiah pictures Deity as a comforting Mother: “As a Mother comforts Her children, so I will comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13). Biblical maternal images also include a “Nursing Woman” (Isaiah 49:15), “Mother Eagle” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12), and “Mother Hen” (Matthew 23:37).

“Our Mother Within Us” also refers to the biblical call to sing to a “new song” (Psalm 96:1; 144:9). This new song, “Our Mother Within Us,” comes with the hope and prayer that singing new songs that include female names and images of the Divine will contribute to a new story of love, peace, and justice in the world.


Leave a Reply

Scroll to top