8/09/2013

8-11-13 Palimpsest "Dressed for Action"

Luke 12:32-40


Readings:

      Shanna Hanson, a captain at Minneapolis Fire Station 14, captivated the national media…Hanson, 36, was off duty Wednesday when the bridge collapsed. She grabbed her life jacket and soon was in the water beneath a pier, which was leaning from the weight of the sunken multi-ton roadway above it. Tethered to a yellow life rope, she swam to three submerged cars to search for survivors. It was there that the cameras captured her, fighting a current that hid broken glass and twisted metal.
– www.startribune.com, August 2007

Translation: Let your loins be girded. A rather literal rendering sometimes conveys the required meaning, e.g. 'tighten your belt' (Kapauku), 'tighten the belt about your loins' (lokele).
Elsewhere the  term for a similar act has the same metaphorical meaning, e.g. 'have-(it)-tucked-in' (Balinese), 'have (it)-rolled-up' (South Toradja, similarly Yao), 'have your clothing tucked up' (Shona 1966), i.e. make ready for work at hand, by pulling up the long skirt-like garment between the legs and tucking it into the belt at the back, or by rolling or pulling it up around the waist.

But in several languages only a non-figurative, functional rendering is acceptable, e.g. 'be ready always' (Tzeltal), 'be prepared" (Gio), 'prepare yourselves', or a combination of a functional rendering of this (and the next) phrase with a literal one, e.g. "be ready for action, with belts fastened and lamps alight" (NEB, cp also TEV, Rieu).
-A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of Luke

      The blessings offered are known most fully by those who are no longer afraid of potential danger, darkness, and death...The less we want to have, the less we need to have. This fact is itself one of the blessings God offers, with compound interest. The less we need to have, the less we need to fear. The less we need to fear, the more we know that a life of giving allows us always to live, not on the brink of destruction, but on the brink of blessing, where we can more readily hear the promise that the “Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour,” desiring not to punish but to bless.
-Audrey West, Feasting on the Word, Proper 14 Year C

After an optimistic explosion that we call hope, and an ensuing sense of deep safety, comes an experience of deep rest. It’s the verb, I’m told, that is most used by the mystics of all religions: some kind of “resting in God.” All of our striving and our need to perform, climb, and achieve becomes, on some very real level, unnecessary. The gift, the presence, the fullness is already here, now. I can stop all this overproduction and over-proving of myself...Even when we “achieve” something with a good day of “performing,” as I often do myself as a type A personality, it is never enough, because it is inherently self-advancing and therefore self-defeating. 
-Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations: “Rest from Achievement”




Questions:
· What clothes are required for being dressed for action in your everyday life?
· How are you ready for God to be in your life? What helps you be alert?
· Are you ready for God to serve, love, and bless you?  Why or why not?

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