Go and Practice. And from your Practice, Teach.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.

Matthew 28.19 (From the Gosepel reading, Trinity Sunday 2020)

THERE IS NO WAY, in earth or heaven, that when Jesus gave this instruction on the top of a mountain to his Apostles, or the churches they were about to found and teach,he meant them to go and command people to obey doctrines and concepts about any “Holy Trinity” godhead held on some philosophical or actual pedestal, majestic and separate, and so themselves be counted in or out of any religion! Yet such has too often been the way of both institutionalised churches and less formalised “free” churches. Why? Well we only need to look at the language of standard English translations to see how it seems to claim both the high doctrinal and moral ground, and the authority to impose this on whomsoever the “Great Commission” is meted out to. All the concepts in such language come from Western Empire cultures, not from Jesus.

      Jesus spoke Aramaic. There isn’t space for much here but I just offer you a couple of words and perhaps you would like to contemplate what this saying then means for you over some time.

      The Greek word translated “commandment” if reimagined on the Aramaic lips of Jesus is puaqdana from the verb paqad, to visit, review, inquire or entreat repeatedly over time. So it refers to a fundamental or source teaching repeatedly given. “Father” comes from ab, the parenting, creative, infusing, loving, outpouring essence of the cosmos/all. Sh’ma does not carry the English connotations of “obey” or “comply with” but is closer to something like “listen in the heart deeply and respond from there in the wisdom that comes to you”. If we continue like this we soon come back to the teachings in John where Jesus speaks of the indwelling relationship of the “ab, the “son/child” and the “spirit/breath/wind”. Deep Peace of the Christ in you to you. God bless.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 11, 2020.

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