Each week, I take some time to reflect on one of the lectionary passages for the upcoming Sunday. This week, which is Trinity Sunday, I went with all four passages—Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 29, Romans 8:12-17, and John 3:1-17—because there is a strong thread through each concerning God's voice and our own.
The psalmist reminds us that God's Voice is unimaginably powerful. It was there at the beginning, hovering over the waters. The Voice brought order to the chaos. It called forth land and spoke the sun and stars into existence. Yet such power is terrifying. The psalmist speaks of that same Voice shattering mighty cedars and causing the wilderness to quake. We are naturally filled with awe and holy fear at such a voice.
A voice like that typically overwhelms. A voice that powerful usually silences all others. Yet God's Voice creates room. It gifts smaller voices the chance to speak; even to speak on behalf of the unimaginably powerful One. The Voice asks, "Who shall I send?" and then it quiets. It allows for a response and in that space the small, shaken voice of Isaiah replies, "Here am I; send me!"
When the Voice was found in human form, it continued to have conversations. It was still immensely powerful but the power came from surprising places. This Voice that the psalmist said would reduce a great forest to twigs spoke more often of creation rather than destruction. It told Nicodemus that God loved the world so much that God's Son was sent not to twist the earth like an oak, but to save it.
It is this Voice in conversation with us—in form of Creator, Savior, and Spirit—that compels our voices to cry out to this unimaginably powerful One: "Abba Father!" That phrase that Paul uses in Roman's eighth chapter is a term of affection. It is an indication of intimacy and that is interesting because intimacy is a two-way street. This One behind the powerful, mighty Voice that rightly causes us to feel awe and holy fear enters into an vulnerable relationship of love with us.
While I do not argue the psalmist's depiction of God's Voice, the conversations between Voice and voices over thousands of years indicate an ironic twist. The Voice that can break a majestic tree belongs to the majestic God who allows God's heart to break for us.