Karl Barth on the Cruciform God

“In being neighbor to man . . . He does not need to fear for His Godhead. On the contrary . . . God shows himself to be the great and true God in the fact that He can and will let His grace bear this cost, that He is capable and willing and ready for this condescension, this act of extravagance, this far journey. What marks God above all false gods is that they are not capable and ready for this. In their otherworldliness and supernaturalness and otherness, etc., the gods are a reflection of the human pride which will not unbend. . . . God is not proud. In His high majesty He is humble.”

– Karl Barth, CD IV/1:159

The Immanent God

“God’s revealing is simultaneously an unveiling and a veiling. God conceals Godself under the opposite of what both religion and reason imagine God to be, namely the Almighty, the majestic transcendent, the absolutely other. In one sense, to be sure, we may say on Luther’s behalf that God really is other – even “wholly other”, to use Rudolf Otto’s well-known term. But God’s otherness, for Luther, is not to be found in God’s absolute distance from us but in God’s willed and costly proximity to us. In simpler language (which, however, is the most profound language of all), God is other than we because God loves – and loves, as Anders Nygren, insisted, without ulterior motive, spontaneously.”

– Douglas John Hall, The Cross in Our Context, 20-21

On Predestination

Two quotes worth pondering:

“How can a person seriously believe that God is love and has given himself up for us on the cross, because he has loved us and chosen us from all eternity and has predestined us for an eternity of bliss in his presence – how can anyone seriously believe this ‘to be true’ and at the same time refuse to love God in return or despair of God’s love?”
– Hans Urs von Balthasar

“When wondering where and how to find the Creator God of predestination and majestic holiness, remember there is no other God besides this man, Christ Jesus. See God revealed, hanging on a Roman cross, for your sins.”
– Martin Luther

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, my Lord and God,
let your saving plan be fulfilled in us all.
You drew God down from heaven and into the Virgin’s womb;
You are the love that moved God to become one with our own flesh.
You built for God’s Son a home in his mother:
built it on seven pillars, your seven gifts.
From the root of Jesse a shoot has sprung:
on it you would one day come to rest.

God, we have heard with our very own ears;
our fathers have told us
the work that you did
when you came in flame-tongues from your throne in the Godhead
to make earth a heaven and all of us gods.
From that moment on, as children adopted, scattered throughout all the earth,
through you we keep crying Abba, our Father! to God.
How great are your mercies, oh Spirit, oh Lord!
They revive me in hope; through them I entreat you.

Faith’s seal, of believers the counselor-helper,
light, fire, and wellspring of light,
oh, listen to us who call you, and come!
If you will but guide us
our Father’s face we’ll see, and also the face of his Son,
and know you too, who flow from them both,
life’s fountain and river of peace.

[The Prayer to the Holy Spirit by Rupert of Deutz]

A Prayer for Social Justice

From The Book of Common Prayer:

For Social Justice.

Almighty God, who hast created humankind in thine own image; Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among humankind and nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.