Thursday, January 31, 2008

THIS is serious, this is not

"This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised." (Gen 17:10)

This is part of today's lectionary reading and it really hit me just now - this was a serious commitment. This whole covenant with God thing, this was HUGE. We can talk all about how grotesque it is to maim ourselves or whatever, but there's something very serious when you start talking about surgery and men's genitalia. We're pretty particular. We're pretty squeamish. So what exactly is God saying when He requires that the descendants of Abraham, those whom God has sworn to bless and protect, to give them a land and to make them a blessing to others, what is being said by demanding this kind of sign? THIS IS SERIOUS.

Here's a mini-revelation: As a man, you could tatoo my forehead, paint my face green or have me walk around in some odd shirt every day of my life, and it still wouldn't be as big as messing with that. Now, I can't speak for men EVERYWHERE, but I'm guessing I'm not too far off on this one. God certainly was trying to make an impression on Abraham and on his descendants. This whole covenant thing, this whole "you are My people - I AM your God" - it's not a recreation sport, it's not a hobby, it's not simply one perspective... This is where it's at. And it's so serious, that eventually it's going to cost God his very life...

THAT is serious. But this is not: I had a dream last night. There were three things that made this dream very interesting and worth me writing about - whether you care to remember or not. First, when I woke up, I was still emotionally concerned, but it took me a few minutes to remember why. Second, it involved falling asleep and waking up, and doing something while I was asleep that I had little to no recollection of. Third, it involved shooting someone, with a shotgun and if you know me that's significant because not only do I not own a shotgun, or any firearm for that matter, I've never fired a gun and I'm not entirely sure I've ever even held a shotgun. With a few hours behind me, I can chuckle, but at the moment, the idea of having shot someone and having no memory of the incident, that's kinda scary. But it was all a dream, so, it's no big deal...

6 comments:

Darren said...

Penises and Shotguns in one blog. Wow, you're really starting to stretch your wings and explore some intriguing topics. :D

In regards to SERIOUS: This has, in fact, been a very serious discussion in the Kautz household now that Baby is on the way. And there's a 50/50 shot that Baby could have a penis.

In regards to NOT serious: I hate waking up from any dream. Whether it's a nightmare or a pleasant dream, I wake up freaked out. It's that momentary state between sleep and complete consciousness... I think it's the fact that I'm aware that I'm not FULLY aware. I lay there and nearly hyperventilate every time.

jlee said...

Darren posted what I was thinking - crazy combo on the penis / shotgun situation.

Realistic dreams that have emotions that continue into the morning raise many questions. I have had similar experiences.

On another note, I can't wait until the end of February. It will be good to catch up...

jlee said...

Another quick thought regarding circumcision and covenant. I always am amused by the fact that many people consider getting "re-baptized" after being baptized as an infant but then coming to faith as an adult.

My guess is that the men who took their faith seriously DID NOT want to be "re-circumcised" later in life when they took their faith seriously or it became "their own."

Go ahead, I challenge you to tell someone who wants to be re-baptized that they should also be re-circumcised and see if they are as quick to make the call for another baptism...

Don said...

Yeah, I realize I juxtaposed a couple of interesting ideas. Their only relation is that post, honest. Especially because the guy I "shot" in my dream was not only alive, but had nothing more than what looked like a dent in his collar bone area.

And Jeff, you're dead on about baptism & circumcision. After my baptism at 18 or whenever it was, which was my first and only, I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to do it again. What God does isn't always about us feeling something. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, or something like that...

Higgins said...

Two questions related to jlee's comments:

1. Can you re-do a male circumcision?

2. Are baptism and circumcision direct and exact equivalents?

Don said...

Higs - Jeff may have a different answer, but I'll posit this:

1) It depends on how well or poorly it was done the first time, but certainly I don't want anyone to try!

2) While they're not exact equivalents, Paul connects the two and recognizes both as signs of God's work and God's covenant. You definitely have to be careful when correlating the two, but there's something to be said for appreciating circumcision as a precursor to the sign of the Holy Spirit, sealed in baptism.