You may of heard a bit of “fake news” last year in regards to the Church of Sweden deciding to stop calling God ‘He’ or ‘Lord’. Headlines read like this: “Priests to be banned from calling God “He” or the “Lord.” But that wasn’t exactly what had happened. The Swedish church had merely decided to make some updates:
“The Church Assembly, a 251-member decision-making body, voted on Thursday with a large majority to update the handbook, which includes the Church’s aim to use language that is ‘more inclusive’….
Some of the updated language includes three alternatives for the words to use at the start of worship services, including one which is gender-neutral: “In the name of the Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit,” “In the name of God, the Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit”, and “In the name of the triune God”.
The Church Assembly also agreed to use the female grammatical gender for the Holy Spirit, as it the case in Hebrew as well as in the 2000 Swedish Bible translation (‘den heliga anden’ as opposed to ‘den helige ande’).”
Changing the grammatical gender of the Spirit in order to match the Hebrew is a good idea. It’s one step toward acknowledging the feminine aspect of our amazing God.