Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Recovering Our Distinctive Character

It is 1450 BC. The people of Yahweh have been camped at the base of Mount Sinai for about a year. They are about to pull up stakes and walk through hostile territory to the Promised Land. Moses goes to the Tent of Meeting to speak with Yahweh.

He says to Yahweh, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight and your people. Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16, English Standard Version).

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sense of Adventure

Edith Hamilton (1868-1963), in her magnificent book, Mythology (1942), writes of the Quest of the Golden Fleece. To obtain that prize, Jason would have to man his ship, the Argo, with the best and brightest of Greece. Hera, Queen of Olympus, helped Jason gain their enthusiastic support. In one priceless sentence, Edith describes how Hera did so: she kindled in each one the desire not to be left behind nursing a life without peril by his mother's side, but even at the price of death to drink with his comrades the peerless elixir of life (p. 163).