Thursday, June 09, 2005

Vernon Easterhare Declares:

There comes a time when I conclude that the doing I do serves all the more good than knowing every word of every line in all my several books. And, my, my, my, how short it seems on the doing of the Word for all the striving for knowing that has made my life both insulated and self-involved!

The disciple is nothing but a student, and Jesus would have that one first obey, then gather facts. This constitutes a great shift away from Rabbinical culture, where Talmudic students would exchange gemara – oral arguments on the Mishnah and Torah – with the Sage in a way suggested in the Gospels between the Pharisees/lawyers/scribes and Jesus. But Jesus' disciples seem to be in the first instance there to learn a new moral understanding, really a transformation of an ethic of lovingkindness into the Sovereignty of God, with a radical and all-encompassing emphasis. The notion of lovingkindness and the Realm of God were, of course, not new to Judaism, but the fervor was a new flowering of the moral world.

Siblings in Jesus, I tell you that sometimes I amount to a bad disciple, but a fair Talmudic student, by which I mean I get bogged down in my studies about this-or-that papyrus or Aramaicism or 'Q' or somebody's theory of NT hermeneutics and slip on being sufficiently kind, or in being responsible for my dependent kitty and fellow churchfolks and the homeless and the vulnerable, victimizable animals. Pray that it be otherwise!

I have headstrong tendencies, but the older I get, the younger in Jesus I get; obstinacy is psychically sick, and what one takes in the place of hard opinions of an opinionated person, I need to install play-which-is-true-play – namely, service.
by Vernon Easterhare, who is a model "do-er of the Word," despite his protestations to the contrary


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