For thousands of years tartans have reflected the preferences of particular weavers and the tastes of particular regions, and families who lived in those regions. Following the Dress Act of 1746, when the British government attempted to suppress wearing tartans, particular designs became associated with clans and bear the names of the clan.
On February 26th, in the year of our Lord 2017, the Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church will celebrate Scottish heritage with grand pageantry, parading tartans of clans that have worshiped in this congregation.
This service will emphasize Scottish influence: we will repeat portions of the Scots Confession of Faith, prayers from the Scottish Book of Prayer, and hear the Lord’s prayer in Gaelic.
Pastor Robert Shaw’s sermon will consider how Celtic theology might influence our appreciation of our place in the world.
I remember a cousin calling out “Mrs. Shaw” at a family gathering then smiling as nearly every woman in the room turned to look at him. Such is the power of having someone’s name!
O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
— Psalm 8:1
Most translations honor a deep respect for the sacred name of God, using the word LORD in all capitals to represent the four Hebrew letters. A name so powerful ancient priests would only whisper it in the temple but once a year lest they use it too lightly or wrongly.
Yet we humans have been given this name to call upon the Creator of the heavens and the earth!
When I look into the heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what are humans that you are mindful of them,
Children of Adam, that you care for them?
— Psalm 8:3-4
The Celts perceived God not as sitting out beyond the edges of creation, but having created all that is from within the very substance of God, adding a divine dimension to all things seen and unseen.
I will have more to say about Psalm 8 at 10 AM on Sunday, February 26th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.