Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: truth

Like a Garden

by ryan

Good Friday was terrible to The Eleven (Judas seems to have already killed himself . . . to be or not to be . . . to obey or not to obey . . . ) and probably to Jesus’s mom and the other disciples too. Perhaps they might have called it “Failure Friday”. The Hope of Israel has been slain like a typical rebel against the Roman Establishment. In despair, Jesus’ body was sown into the dark of the earth, in a tomb. What was planted that day?

When we say “hope” these days we often mean something other than how I am meaning now. In Southern California we say, “I hope it snows tomorrow and school is cancelled.” But near the Pacific where I went to high school it only snows about every 10 years, if that, and I cannot recall a time it did not melt immediately when it hit the ground. So when we say, “I hope it snows so school is cancelled”, we still do our homework and make plans to go to school the next morning. We say “hope” to talk about wishful, dreamy, even whimsical ideas. And we don’t have much reason to believe these wishes will come true.

Hope is also a town in British Columbia. I’ve been beyond Hope, in both directions on the Trans-Canada Highway. While being beyond or without hope is not recommended, travelling near or beyond Hope, B.C. is encouraged.

yoho-national-park-river_37164_600x450

This is beyond Hope if you are coming from Vancouver. Photograph by Reiner Harscher, laif/Redux (National Geographic dot com)

 

I’m not typing about a town either. When I type “hope” I mean something else.  The Hope of Humanity is a person, He is the First Fruits of the Resurrection. When Paul said something like,

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (ESV translation)

he does not mean we grieve like we are the Best Wishful Thinkers, changing the world with our Positive Disney Thinking. We don’t “Wish upon a star.” We know the Star Maker and believe, for good reason, that the One who resurrected the Hope of Humanity, will likewise resurrect us. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, especially chapter 15 is good reading on this.

In glory, he was resurrected in bodily form on the third day. If his body is a seed, how glorious is the plant who is alive?

Advertisements

a bit on Truth

by ryan

I don’t recommend reading Ralph Waldo Emerson; there are better people to read out there.  But I do like some of his lines:

Thee, dear friend, a brother soothes,

Not with flatteries, but truths,

Which tarnish not, but purify

To light which dims the morning’s eye.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mister Emerson here reminds me of a couple proverbs of King Solomon:

Better is open rebuke

than hidden love.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend;

profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Being nice and polite are not wrong in and of themselves, but they are never grounds for obscuring the truth.  I am not saying here we should forget about being nice and polite.  Rather, there is a more important virtue: love.  Nearly two thousand years ago Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter in which he exhorts followers of Jesus to “speak the truth in love.”  In a later letter he writes:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

What is true?  What is worthy of praise?  I know only who is True and who is Worthy of Praise.  I sing with David and many others:

Bless YHWH, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

—-

Note all quotes in this post are actually translations, except the one by Mister Emerson.  The ones from the Bible in this post keep with the wording of what is often called the English Standard, except where I keep the transliteration of the Hebrew name of God in Psalm 103 instead of trying to find an English word.