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Speaking to the Soul: No Comparison

Speaking to the Soul: No Comparison

Week of Epiphany 1, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 1, 2, 3 (morning) // 4, 7 (evening)

Isaiah 40:12-23

Ephesians 1:1-14

Mark 1:1-13

A few summers ago, my husband and I took a trip that we’d spent years planning for: to Glacier National Park. I was born in Montana, and I’d been trying to explain to my Midwestern husband that there was just no place on earth like Glacier. But, when we finally got there, I realized that I myself had forgotten how incomparable those lakes and mountains were.

Our first reading this morning tries to give us that same sense that there are no adequate comparisons. God is the one who can be compared to nothing else, and for whom we should accept nothing less.

The prophet starts by emphasizing God’s role as creator: “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span . . . and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” Although I’m quite sure that the prophet had never been to Glacier National Park, he seems to know that large-scale water, sky, and mountain can connect us with a God who is beyond any comparison, concept, or conjecture.

The prophet contrasts this sense of God as incomparable creator with the manufactured goods and gods available in the world’s marketplace: “To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol?–A workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains.” Unlike the creator God, idols are the products of our skill and effort, the projections of our fears and desires.

How can we reconnect today with our sense of a God who defies comparisons? A God who is unlike any other item or idea that the idolatries of our world are marketing to us? Let’s pray to know the God who creates uniquely, the God with whom there is no comparison, in whatever piece of creation we inhabit today.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal.  She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps  program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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Jaan Sass

This is so true in my life so many things or hubris distract me from my relationship with God some good things some not so good but all keeping me from developing a deeper relationship with God.

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