Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sons and servants (John 15)

One of the most important source documents for 18th century English history is The Journal of John Wesley. One edition of this work takes up nearly two meters of shelf space. Mr. Wesley, you see, was careful to write down and evaluate everything that happened to him every day. The private, encrypted version of his published journal divided each day into 15-minute segments, assigned an activity code to each segment, and graded his performance on each activity, using a seven-point scale ranging from torpid to fervent.

As Mr. Wesley revised and republished his journal, it got bigger. This was the era before copyrights, so Wesley incorporated material other writers created that he felt would be helpful to his readers -- grammars, folk remedies, etc. He also inserted footnotes to rectify, or clarify, comments made at earlier times in his own life.

As a young, newly-ordained Anglican pastor, Wesley traveled to the American colony of Georgia to serve as a missionary. During an intense Atlantic storm, he panicked, questioned his own salvation, and envied the faith of Moravian Christians on board who met the frightening weather with hymns of praise. A few decades later, in a footnote, Wesley said, "I had the faith of a servant, not that of a son." Today's reading clarifies the source of that paradigm:
Joh 15:15 Artık size kul demiyorum. Çünkü kul efendisinin ne yaptığını bilmez. Size dost dedim. Çünkü Babam'dan bütün işittiklerimi size bildirdim.
Let's look at a few words:
  • Artık size kul demiyorum -- From now on, as of this point / you / slaves / I do not call.
  • Çünkü kul efendisinin ne yaptığını bilmez -- Because / a slave / his master / what / does / he does not know.
  • Size dost dedim -- You / friends / I have called. (note: in Turkish, there's no need to waste plural endings. Since size is already plural, dost can be singular. We already know we're talking about more than one!)
  • Çünkü Babam'dan bütün işittiklerimi size bildirdim -- Because / from my Father / everything / that I have heard / to you / I have made known.
Take some time to get to know the Muslims around you. You may be surprised at how intensely they yearn to serve Allah. In fact the popular name Abdullah means -- the slave of Allah.Yet there is something even more wonderful than being a servant. As Christians, we believe God is eager to adopt men into his household. Hired people can help maintain the property. Sons get to consult with the Father about how to develop it.

No comments: