Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Homer Simpson, priest
Overdue for churning some thoughts out. This is from OT theology reading, The Religion of Ancient Israel by Patrick D. Miller. And he's actually quoting this from Rodney Hutton's Charisma and Authority in Israelite Society. He's talking about the role of priest in leadership of Israel's religion:
He [the priest] was the equivalent of the modern nuclear reactor supervisor who must channel the tremendous energy of the reactor while at the same time facing potential death in preventing radioactive contamination, core meltdown, and nuclear catastrophe, and who must supervise the decontamination of the environment in the case of disaster, which in cultic terms was an everyday occurrence. (Miller 171)

An everyday occurrence. Was there really a time when approaching God was a matter of life and death? From an intellectual standpoint, I can accept that. Fine. The Bible tells me so (like 2 Samuel 6:6-11). But when I'm downright honest with myself, I don't think I live like it. Seriously, I don't approach YHWH with fear and trembling. Do I really know any better, though? Have the paradigms of religion that have trained me taught me fear and trembling?

The presence of YHWH deserves more than a healthy amount of respect. There must be careful preparation. Comb your hair. Brush your teeth. Put on your good shoes. Not to impress YHWH. Rather, it's because YHWH is God and I am not. There comes a danger in all of the I-am-a-friend-of-God or I-am-my-beloved's rhetoric. YHWH and I are not the same, not equals that we can be buddies. If Jesus is my Lord, he cannot also be my boyfriend.

The priest stood between two worlds. One the mysterious, terrible, lovely presence of YHWH. The other the contaminated and tainted world of men and women. Talk about a tense, volatile place to stand. Is my place as a Christian any different, halfway between a world defiled and world redeemed? The presence, and practice of fear and trembling, is no longer an everyday matter of life and death. Instead, it is moment by moment in the presence of YHWH.

That's all for now.


posted by Peter at 11:16 PM
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