Thursday, July 19, 2007


Like Uncle Mark, I want to skip the introduction and get right to the point. But I would be unfair to Dr. Luke and Matthew Levi if I did. They spend particular paragraphs painting pictures of pageantry in the days of Herod.

– Look, brother. Peer between the legs of the crowd.
– The priest is serving the altar of incense. He is right next to the menorah. No one is allowed to make that incense you know. It is a special formula. Like you, my dear brother, my brother who can only see. So it is with the oil for the lamps. I point for you. Come in front of me while I point your head to see. Ears, hold my hands. Be warm.
– Tertius, where have those children gone?
– To see where Zechariah stood.
– Woe, woe to the city.
– No vision for us today, my dear. No angel, just the blessed Ananus with his message, so nearly the same as your gospel.
– There they are, my love. Squeezed against the pillar, watching the incense rising.

Luke alone writes of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Notice that vision coupled with doubt of God's ability around the creation of a child by normal means results in a certain inability to speak. Have you considered what God can do with your body? Moses himself by his own account was in full health till age 120. Why would Zechariah doubt the vision? Maybe Zechariah was not able and after the vision, he was made able. Have you considered this? The text says that Elizabeth was barren, but so is any woman who has not the homunculus of a man in her. I remember that Eutychus surmised that the woman was more important than the homunculus implies, but I let this stand for your understanding.

No wine, says the angel. Oh disaster, wine in the belly of the woman with child. We have known this from the time of Manoah. Tertius and Ruth had a son prior to me who was stillborn. I learned of this so much later. They doubted their faith because of my disability. No need. I am known well and I can know, whether my ears vibrate or not. My father’s heart was tuned to me and I to him in spite of my lack of hearing. It is neither hearing nor seeing that is of real value, but the knowledge that comes through faith.

Zechariah did not believe. Elizabeth did and hid herself.

The body feels. Let the word live in you richly as a seed, just as John was planted in Elizabeth, taking away her reproach. Be as she, a willing receiver of the vision; a nurturing ground of the seed that is the word. You reproach me for the planting image. Why? As the egg is from the hen for the cock to bring about chickens, I am sure that Elizabeth's spirit plays a greater part than Zechariah's reluctant seed. And your uniqueness is as much as an egg's, is it not? No wonder he is dumb. Why isn't a man more like a woman!

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