Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Standing still is not an option (Luke 17)

The Lord Jesus Christ lived during desperate times. The roof was about to fall in on the society he was born into, and a palpable sense of doom infused the atmosphere. The stress apparently drove many to insanity and/or demonic possession. A proud people with several thousands years of continuous identity, the Jews were no longer masters of their own house. Think of the 19th century Ottoman citizen, whose taxes disappeared into the bowels of the Administration of Public Debt, a foreign-owned and foreign-managed tax farming agency.

Or, think of a 21st century American whose hard-earned monies ensure that a foreign-owned entity, a branch office of the Bank of England, will always make a profit. Even if the dollar must spiral into hyperinflation.

Israel fretted under the Roman yoke, and yearned for a recycled David or Moses to lead them against their overmasters. This did not make the political message of Jesus popular -- get used to it, because it's going to get a whole lot worse.

But what should those who heard Him do when the fertilizer finally hit the air conditioner?[1] His message was succinct. Run for it -- and don't look back.
Luk 17:31 O gün damda olan, evdeki eşyalarını almak için aşağı inmesin. Tarlada olan da geri dönmesin.
Luk 17:32 Lut'un karısını hatırlayın!
Luk 17:33 Canını esirgemek isteyen onu yitirecek. Canını yitiren ise onu yaşatacaktır.
Luk 17:34 Size şunu söyleyeyim, o gece aynı yatakta olan iki kişiden biri alınacak, öbürü bırakılacak.
Luk 17:35 Birlikte buğday öğüten iki kadından biri alınacak, öbürü bırakılacak."
Let's look at a few words:
  • O gün -- that day
  • damda olan -- on the roof / he is
  • evdeki -- which is in the house
  • eşyalarını -- his things (definite object)
  • almak için -- in order to take (için is a postposition)
  • aşağı -- below
  • inmesin -- let him not go.
Remember Lot's wife!

During the middle of the last bloody century, whenever the Nazis or Communists took over a town, they stationed agents at the railroad stations to arrest anyone who showed up with a heavy suitcase. Refugees who escaped with their lives did so with the clothes on their backs. Period. You walk out of your house, as if for a brief stroll, leaving the door unlocked. Buy a short train ticket, perhaps to the next village. Rinse and repeat.

Lot's wife failed to escape because she could not turn loose of those things that anchored her to the doomed city of Sodom.


[1] This is a euphemism for the colorful American expression, "the shit hit the fan."

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