Tuesday 18 October: neighbor
This is a month long series of unedited free writes, but ya know what? I'm going to copy/paste from my urban wilderness blog where I keep notes and handouts from classes I've facilitated, from a few someone else has led but I've participated in. Why? Not only did year C – Luke's Year – in the Revised Common Lectionary bring us Good Sam earlier this fall; I've been discussing a lot of Jeremiah with my adult SS class, a whole lot about the neighborly tradition of Deuteronomy that's so very consent with Jeremiah's theology and prophecy. Calling it "neighborology." I linked to the entire post, and this excerpt sure ain't five minutes' worth, but in this torn, tattered, weary, war-mongering world, all of us need to acknowledge everyone is a neighbor.
Neighborology: the Word about the Neighbor – Jeremiah / Deuteronomy
As sometimes happens, the RCL brings us texts closely related to the events of the past week in the USA. First, a relatively rare excursion into Deuteronomy, the covenantal, neighborly – neighborology – text par excellence, very much in the tradition of Jeremiah, despite its long historical sweep.
Deuteronomy is one of the five books of the Pentateuch, Ha Torah, the books of the law. However, rather than being rigidly legalistic, practicing Torah is a fluid, stretchy, flexible enterprise that's always on the side of grace, mercy, love, and distributive justice. Despite its being in the covenantal tradition of Jeremiah, Deuteronomy is compiled from sources that range over about five centuries, from the United Monarchy of Saul, David, and Solomon at least through the Babylonian exile and likely into the post-exilic period of Persian hegemony. Deuteronomy moves beyond theory and ideas to practice and reality, showing us covenantal neighborology in action. Deuteronomy demonstrates Torah neighborology lived out on turf and in time.
Deuteronomy 30:14 "No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe."
Better translation is "the word is very near you in your mouth and in your heart and you will do it." Double meaning of commandment and promise on You will do it.