Stories abound around the world about the sky being an abode for the Divine.  Christians sing “Glory to God in the highest” and “you alone are the Most High” in their Liturgies and in the story of the “Transfiguration” Jesus went to the top of a mountain with three of his friends and was shown glorious as they all entered inside a cloud.  Christians also tell the story of Jesus “ascending into heaven” after his death and resurrection.  Jesus taught his disciples to pray like this; “Our Father who art in heaven…” And for Paul, the first Christian theologian and cosmic mystic, the Christ is the one who unites “everything on earth, under the earth and in the heavens.”  

“The Cosmic Christ” by Ullrrich Javier Lemus

Meister Eckhart makes deep connections between the sky and earth when he declares the heavens “invade the earth, energize it and make it sacred.” He says the heavens “are continually running, running into peace” and seek repose.  Eckhart recognizes the stretching that the human undergoes in searching for the Divine:  The divine spirit in the human soul is not easily satisfied.  It storms the firmament and scales the heavens trying to reach the Spirit that drives the heavens.  Because of this energy everything in the world grows green, flourishes, and busts into leaf.  But the spirit is never satisfied.  It presses on deeper and deeper into the vortex, further and further into the whirlpool, the primary source in which the spirit has its origin.  

The Hebrew Bible tells us Moses encountered God at the top of a mountain, Mount Sinai, and such glory emerged that he had to cover his face with a veil, for the “skin of his face was shining” so.  Psalm 99 tells us that God, a “mighty King, lover of justice and establisher of equity” spoke to Moses, Aaron and Samuel “out of the pillar of cloud.”  

The psalmist recommends that we “look up” to the mountain and to the heavens to see God– especially when things are not going so well on earth.  When we are down, we are to look up to the vastness of God’s sky.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, p. 4.

Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, p. 70.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: The extravagance of light and shadow. Photo by Manouchehr Hejazi on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

How does today’s science and cosmology affirm Eckhart’s observations that the heavens “invade the earth, energize it and make it sacred”?  

Recommended Readings

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Meditations with Meister Eckhart: A Centering Book

A centering book by Matthew Fox. This book of simple but rich meditations exemplifies the deep yet playful creation-centered spirituality of Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century Dominican preacher who was a mystic, prophet, feminist, activist, defender of the poor, and advocate of creation-centered spirituality, who was condemned shortly after he died.
“These quiet presentations of spirituality are remarkable for their immediacy and clarity.” –Publishers Weekly.  

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7 thoughts on “Father Sky in Scripture”

  1. Avatar

    Looking up or having the privelege of being higher up, as in a plane, has personally been an overwhelming moment of experiencing and encountering beauty, awe and wonder… that not only connects, but also shifts one’s perspective, expanding one’s awareness of all that is indeed sacred. One particularly invading such moment was when I was flying in a plane, on a clear starry night. At 60,000 feet up, it appears as if you could literally reach out and touch the stars. On this night I encountered the planet Venus as I’d never seen it before. In the quiet stillness of the night flight, I literally yelled out loud, awed and amazed, “OH MY GOD, LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL.”

    Yes, God does indeed invade the all and the everything of creation with beauty, that fills us with awe and wonder… awakening, shifting and connecting us all, to that which is sacred. We do indeed need to be reminded of this truth, this reality… especially in these times, when things aren’t going so well here on earth… things that are weighing us down with the gravity of the challenges and obstacles we need to endure and overcome. However, the essence and presence of beauty in the midst of all this, does indeed yoke us together, making our burdens lighter.

    1. Avatar

      I agree, Ed. What a wonderful meditation. I love imagining the stars as the campfires of the ancestors. I feel I would like to call on them for their wisdom–their centuries old wisdom. They have seen much, and they can focus our attention on the “long game.” And I love the Aquinas statement, “They shall be drunk with the beauty of thy house.” Oh yes!

      This week, based on ideas by John Phillip Newell, I wrote this meditation. I mean it to bring together in my bodily consciousness the gifts of Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Holy Spirit:
      Awake, O my Soul, Awake
      And know that you are born of the Sacred Earth
      Awake, O my Soul
      To the River of Light that runs through you
      To the Sky above that contains you
      Awake, O my Soul, Awake

  2. Avatar

    Another reason why the heavens are considered divine is probably that the body’s energy, flowing up through the top of the head (i.e., the”supreme chakra” ) during the mystical experience, is perceived as going “up” and “into” and including everything…and more…The “ladder” imagery and “ascending” imagery might convey this aspect of the experience. Of course, Western mysticism generally downplays the potential for a sacred portal in the “sinful” human body , and would never acknowledge the possibility of “kundalini” energy in humans. The heavens might be where humans flow with the divine “union” of unitive awareness, but somehow the human body is erased from the picture.
    Another reason for sky-awe is that our arrogant egos finally perceive something too big to grasp, too shocking and even terrifying to lay claim to, and they fall silent in temporary surrender to the moment. That’s when the true possibility of breakthrough occurs. Awe is actually wrapped inside every moment of awareness, every experience, every “thing,” but our ego-walls lock us out of the truth. Most experiences are too familiar and “mundane” to be seen in their original awesomeness.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Melinda, Thank you for your take on Matthew’s meditation. You are right, the “sinful” body is left out in the West–but it certainly is not in terms of sexuality and the body. Most Muslim counties and even Buddhist countries are appalled by how skin is openly displayed in the movies, advertising, etc. (my son is a fashion photographer and has done work for Playboy) and I don’t feel comfortable with the way that the West hold up a standard of beauty that is unattainable for most women. On the other hand, you are right that the West is, for the most part not into deep ecumenism, and so is not willing to see any connection of the chakras and kundalini in Christian terms.

  3. Avatar

    Matthew, thank you again for reminding us with the mystics that the Cosmic Christ/Consciousness within our human souls is part of our Beautiful, Glorious Source~Creator~Divine Feminine/Sacred Masculine in our Cosmos, Transcendent & Immanent, in All of Creation…. and we are co-Creators with that Spirit….

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