As an undergraduate I studies Greek, so when I arrived at Divinity School I decided to take Hebrew. While I worked as hard as I ever had at anything in my Hebrew class, I found it terrible difficult…and after three quarters I managed to get a B, but still had trouble with the letters. (I got the B because I recognized the passage from Genesis 2 on the final exam!) Basically, I learned that I was never going to be a linguist and that reading scripture in translation would have to be good enough for me.
This weekend I ran across a translation of the Lord’s Prayer from an Aramaic copy. It’s quite different than most English translations used in American places of worship. I thought for the reflection this week I would share some of the thoughts my reflection and meditation on the passage made me consider.
First, please do not get distracted by the opening language. One of the things that everyone who reads scripture should realize is that EVERY translator has a lens which he or she works through…an agenda (and the publisher, and the writer and the buyer have agendas as well). Clearly this translator wanted to reflect the gender-neutral language about God.
- “Grant both bread and insight”—I often pray for daily provisions and give thanks for my abundance, but I probably need to pray for insight more often.
- “Loose the cords of mistakes…free-us from what holds us back”—How many of us remember the mistakes of years ago? When we talk about faith and freedom our mental and emotional fetters are often harder to shake than physical hurdles. I need to pray to be truly free from the burdens that haunt me and those that I could let go of. I also want to pray more often to let others off the hook. May I not hold grudges or let arguments fester.
- “Don’t let surface things delude”—I bought a new car today. I am definite the beautiful new “mom car” is a surface thing. May I daily consider my attachments to my stuff and how it distracts me.
- “The song that beautifies all”—This reminds me of the spring. May I always take the time to reflect on the beauty around me.
- “The ground from which all actions grow”—One of my friends says to her kids that there are things and there are people; people are always more important. May my values, my spirit and my actions always stem from my faith.
What speaks to you in these busy times? What new things and opportunities to reflect do find in your daily living? Do you take time to reflect and consider and pray? My wish for you this week is that you too are always on a faith journey and always trying to be more faithful. Amen.