Epiphany 6 - Year A
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Sirach 15:15-20
Jesus' "You have heard it said, but . . ." statements remind us that G*D's nickname is Freedom. Today's New York Times reviews the last 14 days in Egypt. Key is a statement by the newly released Wael Ghonim. After being kidnapped by government forces and held for 12 days he said, "This is not the time to settle scores. Although I have people I want to settle scores with myself. This is not the time to split the pie and enforce ideologies."
Here is a choice as stark as those between the scripturally heightened rhetoric of "Life and Good" or "Death and Evil" or "Fire and Water". Here we have "Violence and Retribution" or "Freedom and Cooperation".
We have heard and lived in cultures of "Power Over" and again we see the gift of "Freedom Growing" from beneath. After remembering an old Egyptian poem, "The Nile can bend and turn, but what is impossible is that it would ever dry up", Professor Mamoun Fandy remarked, "The same is true of the river of freedom that is loose here now. Maybe you can bend it for a while, or turn it, but it is not going to dry up."
The choice to be free, to hear “you have heard it said, but . . .” is basic to life and therefore to G*D and therefore to us as a goal. To not choose beyond enforced consistency is the hobgoblin of little lives (no matter how large they project themselves).
Simply put, we have not been commanded to side with or be wicked, nor have we been given permission to tear down others to aggrandize our self. We are in this together. I rejoice when you can stand tall for the Freedom of G*D [rendered into olde english as “Kingdom of G*D] right where you are. It encourages me to stand tall where I am. I’ll do what I can to return the favor.
A G*D of Freedom again sets before us a choice, settle scores or build new blessings.