As I skipped along from psalm to gospel looking for something to inspire me, I quickly read the above citation. I thought it was a fine thought to pass along but wondered about the reference that said “See Lk…” Of course I had to look it up. When I did I found something that was similar but not matching. That led me to think of how language shifts and the necessity of care that translators need to take in interpreting the texts they are translating. Sometimes (although not in this case) there’s no equivalency in meaning for words so we just do the best we can. Occasionally that results in some funny phrases, like the person who was trying to figure how to tell an airport security person in France that she had an artificial hip that might set off alarms. She had found a translation in the dictionary but instead of the hip she wanted to describe the word meant “rose hips” – much more meaningful when talking about tea.
Here’s how I pursued the advice from Luke. I asked myself three questions that start from the presumption that the “word” is the word of God: 1. How do I characterize a generous heart? 2. What is the harvest I hope to see brought to fruition? 3. How persevering am I and how might I increase my capacity for perseverance?
Reading the statement and the ensuing questions slowly and aloud, reflecting deeply on each word or phrase and listening to the resonances inside me should take awhile. And the “yield” will – no doubt – be interesting!