Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Third Sunday of Advent - C2

Year C
Isaiah 12:2-6

I'm not a Hebrew scholar so anything you see me do with it ought to first be discounted and then questioned and questioned again. With that disclaimer I note the word "salvation" and an indication that its root can be read as either causative (to save) or passive (be saved). I am stimulated by the friction between two forms, energized by seeing more elemental particles escaping from a collision of words as well as atoms.

Presumably both forms point the action of salvation from G*D (causative) to us (passive). Kazantzakis' Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises and Bernstein's Kaddish: Symphony No. 3 turn that around.

Does a reversal of salvation verbiage bother or "energate"? Can Christmas or a "Second Coming" (as if this were not an every moment experience/possibility) be seen anew as "G*D with US and that withness passing the gift of salvation back and forth?

If I were to write a second time on this passage I might take the translators of the New Revised Standard Version to task for leaving the word "song" out of verse 2. Most other folks envision G*D as "strength and song" while the NRSV has it "strength and might". This is a case where parallelism is helped by contrast rather than repetition.

If I were to write a third time I would wonder about verse 1 and its absence here. It is the compassion, the comfort, that has gone before that sets up the rest of the joy. A case could be made for compassion-less joy being no joy at all. Without compassion, joy is only a lovely word covering forced jollity.

= = = = = = =

compassion or comfort
is a prior word

so often left out

of an appreciation or analysis
of our current situation

compassion or comfort
leads the way

away from

a one-way dogmatization
of many-faced salvation

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