Skip to main content

Go To Yourself

Genesis 11:27-12:8

Parashah 3: Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out) 12:1–17:27

12 Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.

{“A look at the Hebrew in this sentence, however, reveals a peculiarity. The word “Lech” is the command, second person form of the word, “L’lechet“–“to go.” The next word, “l’cha,” is an article which tells us that the previous word is meant to be in the second person (for example, “Ten lecha” would mean “give to you”). Since the form of the verb “to go” the Bible uses is already in the second person form, the word “lecha” is superfluous. Commentators offer various meanings of this extra article, translating the sentence as “Go for yourself,” “Go by yourself” or “Go to yourself.”}
(This is a commentary by Joel Lynn in, and he also says that ‘go to yourself’ is his favorite of the various translations. It’s mine too.)

That would make the translation more like this:

Go to yourself, from your country, away from your kindred and away from your father’s house and go to the land I show you.”

Hebrews 7:1-17

(CJB) 3There is no record of his (Melchizedek’s) father, mother, ancestry, birth or death; rather, like the Son of God, he continues as a cohen for all time.

(NRSV) 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest for ever. (Included because I liked the poetic wording.)

John 4:16-26

23 But the time is coming — indeed, it’s here now — when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him. 24 God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.”

(—Hora(time; a period of time) erchomai(to come; to go; to pass) kai(and; also; but) eimi(to be; to exist) nyn(now; the present—)

I read the text carefully and tried not to over-reach myself in my interpretation. Here’s my take on a possible way to understand the meaning:

Time passes, but remains the present; when trustworthy worshipers reverence the Father in spirit, and practice according to the truth…

It has something to do

with Time— the time

that comes and goes;

that leaves and remains;

that takes no account of birth or death;

that never stops being ‘now,’ no matter how long we wait;

that fills every corner of creation and leaves no room for memorials;

that holds great wealth, but only for those who have no use for treasure;

that isn’t behind us, or before us; above, below, or to either side.

It can’t be understood, unless it’s left alone.

It’s worthless, as long as we expect it to mean something.

It’s meaningful, as long as it remains worthless.

Go to yourself and ask, “What is this ‘It’?”

—Only time will tell.

Popular posts from this blog

Which Way The Wind Blows

Lectionaries are funny things— weird, abstruse little lists of biblical passages by number, sort of like tide tables or bus schedules. Today’s Lectionary passages (for 3-9-2018, the week of the third Sunday in Lent) are: Psalm 88; Genesis 47:1-26; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; and Mark 6:47-56
About a month ago I posted a reflection in response to Abbess Jane’s Lectionary Musings blog on the same passage from Corinthians as the one listed for today in the Daily Office Readings Lectionary (BCP). That was supposed to be the reading for the 6th Sunday of Epiphany, according to +Jane, but I just can’t find it anywhere. I looked up Epiphany 6 in both the Daily Office Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary—not there. It’s not the reading from the Lindisfarne Community’s A Way of Living Lectionary for either Year 1 or 2 either. Oh well.
I was never the sort of autist who is fascinated by such things as bus schedules. I am much more inclined to be enthralled by maps. I wonder if I could make a L…

That'll Do

On Sunday the Psalm was the famous 23rd.  I’ve heard it so many times that I never expected anything new to come wandering across the border from that hinterland, but there ya go. So, the liminal phrase is this: “Your rod and your staff they comfort me,” or as the CJB says, “your rod and staff reassure me.”
I got to thinking, “Well, just exactly how does a shepherd use a staff and a rod?” The staff is used to guide the sheep and to catch them. Traditional staffs used in the UK have horn crooks with a sharp curled tip, which I suspect is designed to catch in the fleece. The rod was essentially a club used to defend against predators, but also as a goad to correct the sheep.
I’ve never really identified with the sheep; I mean they are really not very smart and don’t have much of a survival instinct. I also have misgivings about identifying myself as the shepherd of the sheep. So, I asked myself, “What other role might I fill in the whole sheep-shepherd metaphor?” and it came to me: Shee…

The Next Dance

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful,
not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not gloat over other people’s sins
but takes its delight in the truth.
Love always bears up, always trusts,
always hopes, always endures.

I’ve read this over about five times now, and it keeps on growing in my mind. The above is only a part of the verse cited, but it’s the part that kept reaching out and poking me. It’s the part that I felt was reading me; the part that was peering into my heart to see what is going on in there. It’s the part that sat down in front of me with a questioning look on its face, put its chin in its hand, and looked at me without saying anything. And kept on looking.
Eventually I started noticing specific things; I started trying to see what the verse was looking at in me. I noticed that it started out by talking about what love is; then what it isn’t; then back …