Speaking to the Soul: world without end

by

by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

 

This seems as good a place as any to begin.

To pause.

To give thanks.

To give glory to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

To remember that everything is bound to God.  

 

This is my first reflection for Speaking to the Soul so consequently it feels weightier than if I’d been writing for months. So as I delve into the daily offices with you, readers, seekers, questioners, and worshippers, I first cling to these words:

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

 

I remember the first time I heard these words when they really touched me. Undoubtedly I had heard them growing up in church, but they were only words then. It wasn’t until I embarked on a week-long silent retreat at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky that I heard these words over and over again during the daily offices. Beginning at 3 am, throughout the day, and ending with evening compline, the words began and ended the time in worship. The brothers we worshipped with engaged their whole body in prayer – bowing their head and shoulders. Offering themselves as a prayer. Offering God all that they had.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

 

It was awkward for me at first to bow my head. I watched as others bowed. I began with a slight bow, just barely nodding my head. I felt like everyone around me would know I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt self-conscious. I tried my best to focus on the prayers and songs. But my mind kept going back to those words and that bow.

 

They were the words that spoke to me in my silent prayers at night and on walks. My thanksgiving for the God who heard the prayers I offered and the prayers I couldn’t even articulate. The God who was with me in the beginning and would be with me till the end and beyond. The more I kept going back to these words the deeper I could find myself bowing during daily prayer. The more my entire body offered itself in prayer and gratitude.  

 

I only had a week to be a part of this community and their daily prayer, but somehow over time, I began to feel more comfortable. More at peace. More sure of myself, or perhaps more sure of the God whom I worshipped.  

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Amen.

 

So on this day may you hear these words and offer them as a prayer. May they be your strength and shield and hope. May they bring you deeper into the heart of the God who is with you now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen. Amen.  

 


 

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of a toddler, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com

 

Image: NASA

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2 Responses to "Speaking to the Soul: world without end"
  1. Welcome to Episcopal Cafe, Kimberly! I am one of those readers, seekers, questioners and worshippers who finds these words very comforting. Thank you for your reflection.

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