Dental hygienists have long been my sort of fantasy alternative profession. When things are hard in my work I wonder—why, why why am I drawn to these murky edge waters? Why do I consistently work for passionate little non-profits or churches (yes, CitC is but one in the line of funky start-ups which comprise my professional history). Why do I surround myself with people with strong opinions and intense personalities? Why can’t I just have a normal job?
Sometimes when you find yourself in exile—rather than groaning and longing for home, you do better to just plant a vineyard. Suck it up, says our prophet. Build a life where you are—even if it is not the home you thought you would have. This passage is the foundation for a local conference in which several of us participated on Saturday August 13. It was a beautiful chance to speak honestly with other souls about liminal Christianity.
I try to avoid Pauline texts as much as possible. In addition to what in my estimation is a very non-systematic approach, Pauline texts have the unfortunate honor of establishing the language we use to talk about our faith. I say unfortunate because it is impossible to hear these texts without the weight of the entire history of interpretation of …
I want to live in the world our Psalmist describes: one where justice and peace embrace. Actually, they are doing more than embracing. As other translations reveal: they are smooching.
Our passage this week is a prime instance of how Hebrew verbs can be vague on time and tense. So it is unclear. Have love and faithfulness just met, are they meeting, or will they meet soon? Likewise, have justice and peace kissed, or is it a kiss that they (and we) are still anticipating?