Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's up Doc

Here's a good read by Amy-Jill Levine. How well do we listen and how often do we impose shuttered vision onto what we read?

I am ready to be able to see again - in 3 weeks left eye - then see double for 2 weeks - then right eye. And today walking strong - beginning my recovery with 2 to 3 km a day walks - increase gradually.

look at me and I will smile
ere I walk off and there is no me
(Psalm 39:14)

Larry Behrendt has suggested to me that I take a new project seriously. I am not qualified to do this thing - but that never stopped me before. He writes "There is a strong need to thoroughly explore the relationship between Jesus' nonviolence and the Jewish attitude towards violence in Jesus' time and place. There is a similar need to integrate the effort to interpret the Gospels to show a nonviolent message, with an effort to read the Old Testament with similar generosity and purpose."

This relates directly to the question posed at the beginning of Fretheim's book on the Suffering of God -
"It is not enough to say one believes in God. What is important finally is the kind of God in whom one believes." (Page 1!)

What kind of God? God from God, Light from Light, Very God of Very God. The question jumps to mind as I noted at Larry's blog: "there is a good argument for non violence as the core character of God. Note particularly the summary of the character of YHWH in Psalm 146:6-9.

[doing judgment for the oppressed
giving bread to the hungry
יהוה releasing the prisoners

יהוה giving sight to the blind
יהוה uplifting the disturbed
יהוה loving the righteous

יהוה sheltering the guest
orphan and widow he restores
and the way of the wicked he subverts]

The imitation of YHWH - to be complete, holy as YHWH is complete, holy is a worthy calling - exactly the same I think as the call to obedience that is given to those who follow Jesus. One could write an essay on this beginning with Exodus 34:6 as it is elaborated in the Psalms: 25, 86, 103, 111, 112, 116, and 145. "

What kind of God? And God said ... let the earth bring forth (Genesis 1:24). This word for kind will be used in the Psalms here - Psalm 17:15.

Here we are as beasts emerging from the earth - our creation and our true birth is to be made in God's image - after God's likeness. And there we are in Psalm 17 satisfied to awaken lie God.

I in righteousness will gaze on your face
I will be satisfied to awaken in your similitude

I would add that this is a God who cares about image. Psalm 73:20.

like waking from a dream
My Lord, when you are roused
you will despise their semblance

And one whose emerging children walk about almost oblivious of the image they are called to. Psalm 39:7.

surely in a semblance a person walks
surely futility they murmur
they accumulate things
and don’t know who will get them next

These two psalms use the same word as image in Genesis 1:26. Likeness is used only once in the Psalms in a verse that no one reads, Psalm 58:5.

their heat is akin to the heat of a snake
as the deaf adder plugs its ear

This verse describes the violent human and shows, perhaps if you like, a picture of how distorted humans are - but this is what we see in our humanity, violence magnified rather than the image of the Holy and Complete that we are called to. (And the original garden could be misleading if you think it is all about regaining lost innocence - far from it.)

Well there are some thoughts on a project - how should I discipline the work?