Monday, December 1, 2008

Cook me that rock, medium rare !

Petrus'un mektubu 2:4,5 is a terrific passage for anyone with a sense of irony and a love of the oxymoron.
İnsanlarca reddedilmiş, ama tanrı'ya göre seçkin ve değerli olan diri taşa, Rab'be gelin. O sizi diri taşlar olarak ruhsal bir tapınağın yapımında kullansın.
And today's words are:

  • diri -- alive; fresh; undercooked
  • taş -- rock
How can a rock be alive? The paradoxes multiply. Rock -- immutable, solid, enduring. Flesh -- prone to injury, decay, change. Rock -- inert. Flesh -- alive, growing, increasing.

An oxymoron is a literary device that combines apparent opposites to create a startling new image. Peter begins with an architectural metaphor. Jesus is like "the Rock that the buildrers rejected, which has become the chief corner stone." Something rejected by men, chosen and precious in the sight of God. Of course, our Lord is more than a Rock. More than a cold, rigid, abstraction. Christians assert that Jesus is the Almighty's "graphic user interface" to the universe, the human face of God, simultaneously human and divine. Not just a stone, but a "living" stone. It is as we "connect" to God through Jesus that we experience the hope of eternal life. We become, in our own small way, "living stones," built up together into a habitation for God.

There is a final irony that the original readers of Peter's Greek letter would have enjoyed. Jesus had a habit of renaming His disciples. Peter's parents named him "Simon." Jesus called him "Rocky." Peter, after all, means "stone." Think of "petrified wood" -- wood transformed into stone. Simon, the reckless, fickle reed who paniced at key moments, grew into the name Jesus gave him, and became the man who asked to be crucified upside down, since he was unworthy to die the same way Jesus did.

Jesus has a new name for you, too.

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