One, Yet Three: God's Individuality and Community

Celtic Trinity Symbol by Kristen Fox

Excerpt from The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century, translated by William Johnston
Now you say, “How shall I proceed to think of God as he is in himself?” To this I can only reply, “I do not know.” With this question you bring me into the very darkness and cloud of unknowing that I want you to enter. A man may know completely and ponder thoroughly every created thing and its works, yes, and God’s works, too, but not God himself. Thought cannot comprehend God. And so, I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love him whom I cannot know. Though we cannot know him we can love him. By love he may be touched and embraced, never by thought. Of course, we do well at times to ponder God’s majesty or kindness for the insight these meditations may bring. But in the real contemplative work you must set all this aside and cover it over with a cloud of forgetting. Then let your loving desire, gracious and devout, step bravely and joyfully beyond it and reach out to pierce the darkness above.

This lyric was born out of a reflection on the nature of God, One God and yet Three living in perfect freedom, love and unity with one another. God’s desire is for the people of God to live in this same type relationship with God and each other. God in Jesus Christ lays down his life so this might be possible for us. The simplicity of the lyric and tune, harkening to a lullaby, attempts to express the reality of God’s love;  profound and mysterious, yet beautiful, welcoming, creative and humble. – Lisa <><

God lives in community
One and yet Three
loving, creating, eternally
We’re called to community
one, yet many
loving, creating, one family

All praise to the Trinity
the One who is Three
who came as a baby
to calm our rough sea
who died on a lonely tree
and rose on day three
loving, creating, our victory

God lives in community
with all who believe
loving, creating,
what we’re to be
We’re called to community
for now we can see
that loving, creating,
makes us all free

© 1998 by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to music or to have her original tune for this lyric notated.

For a Pure, Clean Heart

The following worship resource was inspired by the words of John the Baptist concerning Jesus, that Jesus would baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11; Luke:3:16) Water and fire seem opposed to one another, yet both cleanse and purify. The liturgy is made up of Brian Doerksen’s song Refiner’s Fire (CCLI Song No. 426298) and three scripture readings, all on the theme of seeking God for a pure, clean heart. – Lisa <><

Pure Heart 1 by Avalmaar

For a Pure, Clean Heart
Refiner’s Fire,
verse 1 and chorus

Matthew 3:1-2, 11 (NRSV)
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

VOICE TWO: Malachi 3:2-3 (NRSV)
Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.

Refiner’s Fire, verse 2 and chorus

ALL SPEAKING: Psalm 51:1-3, 7, 10-12 (NRSV)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Refiner’s Fire, verse 3 and chorus

Compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Be sure to also check out Purify Us by Steve Garnaas Holmes.

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.