red-letter God

Many of us grew up with, and some still use, “red-letter Bibles,” with the words of Christ printed in red. I audited a class – two, actually – on Old Testament writings outside of seminary, one as a student at MIT, and another in my first pastorate at a local college. In the first I was introduced to the study of the Bible at a level that continued where confirmation left off. In the latter, another student color-coded the various names used of God in the Hebrew Scriptures we examined.





“red-letter God”

color code my life, my God,
where your grace has kept me safe,
underlining passages
where your glory mirrors faith

fleet as bronze, Malak Yayweh,
full as daylight El Roi’s glow;
El Shaddai in milky white,
El Elyon in highest snow

here El Kanna fiery raged,
here Shekinah lowing rose;
Eloah spied distant grey,
El Olam held gilt-edged gold.

color code my life, my God,
that your presence here be traced;
wrestler at the ford and dawn,
come, Emmanuel to stay.


(“red letter God” by William B. Jones, 2010.)










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