Between Earth and Sky: A Reflection for a New Year
Between Earth and Sky
Carried between the earth and sky
Sons of eternity in time
We were born
Born of spirit
Born of water
Born of blood
Jason Upton, lyrics from “Dear John”
Often, as I prepare to receive Communion, I see this recurring image in my mind and heart.
I see myself as a small fetus, fully dependent upon God for my very life. I see the Communion as a meal delivered to me through an umbilical cord, providing all the nourishment and sustenance I need. I see the very oxygen and breath of life pulsing into me through my intimate connection with God through the body and blood of Jesus Christ. I feel myself as powerless, but weightless and comforted, surrounded by the water of the Holy Spirit which protects my skin, fills my lungs, and suspends me safely to be carried along by God – carried between earth and sky – between the now and not yet – between old creation and new. I am continually being born of the Spirit, water, and blood.
One of God’s first self-revelations is recorded in Exodus 34:6. In a face-to-face experience with Moses, while passing by in front of him, God proclaims, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” (NRSV) The word translated “compassion” has a Hebrew root that carries the word picture of a womb. God’s nature is that of a mother’s deep love, intimacy, mercy, and care for the unborn child in her womb.
Can you see yourself in the womb of God? If you are a woman who has experienced having a child in your womb, can you imagine how God must feel about you? You are the focus of God’s thought, energy, and life. You are the center of God’s love and emotion, hopes and longings. God’s heart toward you is all expectation, all dreams, all blessing, all care, all love, and all desire to see, hold, and know face-to-face.
We are carried, between earth and sky, our life suspended in the womb of a loving God. I love these words by Jason Upton and remember hearing him talk of Jesus being carried between earth and sky on the cross, suspended before the birth of a new creation. Through Communion, I am reminded of my place in God’s womb of deep and intimate compassion, and I am born again.
Heather Celoria is a member of Soul Care Collective’s Steering Committee.