Jordon Cooper talks about the use of Labyrinth as a tool in prayer and worship. He has gotten a lot of reaction – of course. I wasn’t aware that only pagans owned the use of the word. We all have labyrinths in our heads you know – in our inner ears. In the dictionary a labyrinth is a complicated or confusing structure – a puzzle, a maze.
Anyway, I realize that is simplifying things – but reaction to the use of such a tool because of it being called a labyrinth seems like over reaction to me.
In my post from Wednesday, Aug. 6 I use a blessing which is called a rune in Madeleine L’Engle’s book An Acceptable Time. Now if anything conjures up the image of pagan, it is probably the use of the term rune. Yet the word itself comes from the characters used in the ancient Germanic languages. Yes runes were words or incantations which had magical or mysterious meaning. A rune to a pagan would be a magic spell. To me, a Christian, the term as used by M. L’Engle, also a Christian, evokes images of inscriptions and words that have mysterious and sacred meanings. I think that I would place some of our blessings, Christian symbols, and benedictions into this category of language. And I believe we attach a certain Holy power to these. What we receive from these words goes way beyond the mere meaning of the words. Sometimes God’s presence comes to us in very intense and special ways through them.
I hope that as Christians we don’t try and eliminate everything from our lives that is mysterious beyond our understanding – that doesn’t fit into some neat little theological box. Mystery is a big part of how I deal with the big concepts like creation, the incarnation, redemption and resurrection. My God is way too big for my finite little mind to understand and explain all of these. And the biggest mystery of all is his love for me – so intense that he died as a substitute for me long before I was even conceived of. So I use poetry, songs and music, liturgy(which is to me the repetition of a sacred act) and other means- like maybe a labyrinth or candles or whatever- to assist me in worshipping this mysteriously wonderful God. It is not how I worship but who that makes my worship true worship.
I believe that God created our sense of mystery, our sense of wonder and delight at all his creation for our and his enjoyment. I refuse to somehow hand over this part of who I am to the domain of the “occult”, “new age” or any other label the evil one would like to use to frighten me away from experiencing this part of who God created me to be.