February is traditionally the LOVE month. Happy little fat Valentines people shooting with bow and arrows and all that…and as commercial and pagan as Valentines Day is, it does make people (well a lot of people ) focus even for one brief moment, on giving and loving and thinking about others instead of themselves. Never a bad thing that! In sync with the love theme I publish something I wrote to complete my BTh last year. Happy Love month to everyone and try to remember that love is a verb!
Homiletics, Hermeneutics, Haggai and Hope
Homiletics – the study of preaching.
Hermeneutics – the study of interpretation
Haggai – the prophet of old whose task it was to get God’s people to work at rebuilding His temple – a job more practical than spiritual.
Hope – the confident expectation of something good. And since God is good, the confident expectation of something God.
And everything in between that…plus more!
The more I reflect on anything the more I come to realize the less I know. I may know a little of this and a little of that, but in the big picture I actually know nothing about a lot, a lot about nothing and still way too little about God and the scriptures.
Do any of us actually know anything? Or if, we have the mind of Christ and hold the thoughts, purposes and feelings of his heart,(1 Cor 2 vs 16), we should know everything since Jesus is the creator of everything. Know everything? Can any living person know everything about anything? As academics I would assume that the Deans of Harvard and Oxford, UCT and the University of Copenhagen would know a lot………..in their chosen field of expertise, just as Damon knows a lot about design or Rory about staying afloat. Lincoln can tell you how many bricks make a braai and I can tell you that teaching 25, 5 year olds for a day is exhausting and that 30 minutes pedaling flat out on a bicycle burns 200 calories which is actually not enough to compensate for the carrot cake I just ate. But do any of the above know anything about everything, or everything about anything? And if you or they did would it even matter? More importantly would it be of eternal value since we are just aliens passing through this earth. One thing I do know, I know, is this: Theologians know how to and enjoy argueing…and for what that’s worth and if it’s not done in love – is nothing!
According to 1 Corinthians 13 vs 10 in the Message Bible ”we know only a portion of the truth and what we know about God is always incomplete and until Jesus comes back that’s the way it’s going to stay.”
When a religious scholar (someone who was assumed to know the scriptures very well, as studying them was his life’s work) asked Jesus a question to test him, Jesus answered, “What is written in God’s law and how do you interpret it? “ (Luke 10 vs 26 Message)
Indeed, how do we interpret anything…with apperently more than 44 thousand Christian denominations in the world and in excess of 900 English bible translations who has hermeneutics sorted? Certainly not me! And even…EVEN if I did, would it matter? Not according to 1 Corinthians 13 vs. 2
“If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but did not love others, what good would it do? “
What good would it do to you or to me or the rest of the world out there? I ask you that question as much as I ask myself!
So as I go forward from here – ready to roll out the next item on my Buck(et) list – a bike ride through Cambodia and Vietnam – I’ll not so sure I’ll be much into homiletics but I’ll continue to interpret hermeneutics through hermenology and just as Haggai was tasked with the rebuilding of God’s temple –a practical job, I undertake to help rebuild the human temple in those that allow me the privilege and to pray earnestly for those that don’t.
Mostly I hope, confidently expect, that I can and will , GO after a life of love as if my very life depends on it – because, surely as much as I’m probablyinpurple, it does.