06 June 2011
Pr. Gernander just wished me...
...an early Pentecost greeting, and it struck me that pastors tend to live a week ahead of their parishioners. I just walked over to see if the paraments had been changed (they had - thank you, dear ladies!) and I put up the Pentecost banner and got the hymn board ready for the weekend. And yes, the Pentecost readings have been much in my mind since yesterday. Language - how little reflection we give to it, and yet how huge it is in the Pentecost readings. Not only Babel and Babel reversed in Acts 2, but also Jesus promising the Holy Spirit's intimate connection with language: the Spirit will bring to the Apostles' remembrance "all I said." Language again. And of course, we have a collection of writings that are the fulfillment of that promise - the New Testament! - a speaking Spirit, like a speaking Son (the Word) of a speaking Father. The Reformation in many ways was about language and taking it seriously. It is not an accident that Luther's great theological "aha" came via a linguistic discovery, and that Lutherans have seriously pursued the study of language as a key to the Church's preserving her theological heritage. "Love the languages as you love the Gospel" Dr. Luther once urged. And is it not utterly of a piece with the incarnation that we have the Gospels not only as story, but as written accounts? Writing is our protest against the ravages of death and the fading memories along time's everflowing stream. Make the words into something written and it can float down the stream and reach people who live far removed from the original events. But when the writing is about THAT event - our Lord's life, death, resurrection, ascension, and pouring out of the Spirit - then it is more than a protest against the ravages of death and fading memory. It is a living gift of the Spirit that brings to us today as our own those once for all time events. Hence the great "Hodie" of the Church's song. Well, enough rambling. But it's all Jerry's fault... He started the mind wandering.
Posted by William Weedon at 5:17 PM