Sunday, March 11, 2012

Theology and New Insights


“The study of God.” Is our theology simply two-dimensional? Looking at the relationship only between God to Man or Man to God?  The verses I quote most often show theology is multi-faceted – as multi-faceted as the number of people in our lives.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:36-39 KJV)

Yes, I just used those verses just yesterday.  I hope I have them in my heart and in my life every day! They came to mind as I learned a new word: ANAWIM, a Hebrew word used in:

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalms 37:11 KJV)

וענוים – meek, needy, poor, saintly, humble.  Many of our neighbors. The same English word, meek, is used for the Greek πραΰ́ς in:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5 KJV)

Quite an education, isn’t it.  A new view of ancient words, applicable today. It also led me to work done in His name: Anawim Lay Missions Foundation and to another site, Anawim Christian Community, where a slight adjustment in a parable stopped me in my tracks.

It was a blessing to find beautiful support for the meek, the gentle, the lonely, the frail of mind and body, but to take that next step shown in the parable of The Good Muslim on the ACC site took a giant leap.

It’s the Luke 10:30-36 parable with a couple of changes. Instead of Jerusalem to Jericho, the trip was from Washington D.C to New York; instead of robbers, he was injured by terrorists; instead of a priest and Levite, he was passed by a Mennonite pastor and Baptist worship leader; instead of a Samaritan, he was helped by a Muslim.

What do those changes do to your viewpoint?  What differences come to mind when current locations/groups are used instead of historical ones? Are we willing to accept that one of our own, a professed Christian, would ignore an injured man?  Was it easier when it was a Jew, a Levite? Did we feel empathy with the Samaritan, as well as with the Muslim?

These are questions I had to deal with in my own heart.

I am grateful for the new word, anawim, added to my vocabulary. I am also grateful for the new insight as to how my own mind works from a different viewpoint.  I learned something new and different Saturday!

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