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Archive for August 12th, 2013

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3: 13, NIV)

The Gospel lesson for 8/11/13, 12 Sunday in Pentecost (year C), Luke 12:22-40 includes Jesus’ imperative to “gird your loins”, Luke 12: 35.  This is the literal and I think preferred translation.  The following quotes are from Dr. Arthur A. Just’s Commentary on Luke, second volume on this word:

“…the verb construction functions as “a perfect imperative which commands one to be already in a certain state.” The one serving a meal normally girded himself (as in 12:37; 17:8). The verb is used metaphorically in Eph 6:14, where St. Paul commands Christians to “stand with your waists girded with truth.” The glorified Christ and angels are girded in Rev 1:13; 15:6….

The first word of this section is an imperative; this sets the tone for the entire teaching of Jesus on watchfulness. “Let your loins be girded” (Transliterated Greek:  periezosmenai)….echoes Ex 12:11, where the Lord gives Moses and Aaron careful instructions on how to eat the Passover: “your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste.” To gird the loins is to lift up the heavy robes from around the feet and ankles so that one is ready to travel.2 It is also the way one prepares to work or serve (cf. 12:37). The image of this imperative brings to the fore the need for a servant posture and the journey motif.”

In a day in which people wore robes to walk, run or serve, the robes would get in the way and cause one to trip and possibly fall.   A person had to “gird”, lift-up those robes to walk freely.  (And so the incredible sight of a revered father and elder, in the Lord’s parable of the prodigal son, running to greet his son come home, meant the father hiked up his robes!)  The meme above asks a good question.  How do we gird our loins today?   Falsehood trips us up.  False doctrine trips us up. Not to know by faith that each and every day we stand as forgiven on account of Jesus Christ will cause us to fall. Not to know by faith that each and every day our anxiety over clothes, drink and food gets in the way and the Lord says, I clothe you (Luke 12: 22-31).  His truth, His life-giving truth, means that today in your vocations, staying in prayer, stays you and you are prepared to work and/or serve.  We worship the Lord Who first served us so we are freed in His forgiveness, His Body and Blood:

For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. St. Luke 22: 27

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