Tuesday, April 27, 2004 AD Sickbed Activities I unplugged my TV about the same time I unplugged my blog. Didn't miss the wasteland of the broadcast networks, but I did miss watching movies. Saturday evening I decided I wanted to watch a movie, so I brought up the 13-inch from the basement (the 19-inch was too heavy to haul down from the second floor). This turned out to be a Good Thing, because I woke up sick enough on Sunday to prevent going to church (boo-hoo!) and without enough energy to do more than vegetate in front of the TV screen. From Saturday through Monday I watched the following movies:
"The Winslow Boy" -- Lots of biblical imagery: The seven lean cows devouring the seven fat cows, the expelled boy fearfully hiding from his father in the garden (OK, a little backward, but still...), the father's sacrifice for the son (OK, so in this case the kid was innocent, but still...), the hero's sacrifice for his beloved (you know he didn't do it for the kid), "You shall not side with the great against the weak," etc.
"What the Deaf Man Heard," "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and "Skylark" -- Yes, three Hallmark Hall of Fame productions. In my defense I'd just like to say that schmaltz is an ingredient in chicken soup, which is good for colds. The Sarah movies didn't do much for me this time around, but "Deaf Man" is one I've watched a number of times -- just a nice, feel-good story about the last being first and vice-versa.
"Silent Fall" -- I obviously taped this off the television ages ago. And I'm sure I watched it then. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough sense to erase it before watching it again.
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" -- A perennial favorite. Chocolate as a metaphor for grace. The meek shall inherit the earth. "So shines a good deed in a weary world" (which Friday's birthday celebrant said first). Scrumdiddlyumptious, indeed.
"The Hudsucker Proxy" -- Innocence and experience. Fall and restoration. A battle between the lord of time and the henchman of evil. And, of course, hula hoops.
"Secondhand Lions" -- When I was finally able to drag myself out of the house last night, I used my 99¢ Blockbuster coupon to pick this up. (I never rent new releases, so it was a special treat to get one cheap.) Still love it.
Lest you think I did absolutely nothing else while I was ill, I listened to the book of Jeremiah on MP3 (thanks for the CDs, John!) twice (and Lamentations once), ate delivery Chinese food and pizza ('cuz cooking just wasn't going to happen), crocheted a bit, played solitaire and napped a lot. I knew reading would be a hopeless cause -- I was just too tired to concentrate.
OK, so aside from the scripture, it pretty much was absolutely nothing. And I know I didn't get as much out of Jeremiah as I would have if I'd been listening intently instead of drifting in and out of consciousness, but these were the things that stood out to me:
The sin of the people. Knowing that my own idol factory is as productive as if it were staffed by a crack team of Oompa Loompas, the first few chapters, especially, were painfully convicting. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.
Jeremiah's compulsion. In the face of much suffering and contempt, he was relentless in his proclamation of God's Word.
The promise of good shepherds. "Shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jer. 3:15). There are a few of those around. More are needed.
The Lord of armies. I think that was the most frequent name for God in Jeremiah, at least in the translation I was listening to. I suspect it's "Lord of hosts" in other translations. When I hear "Lord of hosts," though, I tend to think of angel hosts. "Lord of armies," in the context of this book, reminded me over and over of God's sovereignty over even the greatest powers of men. He is Lord not only of his own angel armies, but over the armies of even the most pagan nations. He uses them to whup up on His kids, then He whups up on them for whuppin' up on His kids.
"You have dealt deceitfully against your own souls." Those who were left after the exile begged Jeremiah for God's word, assuring him that this time they'd obey. So he tells them not to go to Egypt. And they of course promptly set their faces to go to Egypt. Jeremiah responds by telling them, in this translation, that they have dealt deceitfully with their own souls. The NASB says, "you have deceived yourselves." NIV, "you have made a fatal mistake." ESV, "You have gone astray at the cost of your own lives." KJV, "ye dissembled in your hearts." NKJV, "you were hypocrites in your hearts." I have no idea which is closest to expressing the Hebrew, but the WEB expresses the deadly foolishness at the heart of the matter. When we approach God's Word, whether in private reading or in listening to it preached, and discard our intention to obey as soon as we hear something not to our liking, we, too, deal deceitfully -- treacherously -- with our own souls.
The return to Egypt. I wonder if, upon their return, they got to eat the leeks and onions their fathers had whined for. (Or the fish -- Gollum's whining for Fish! Fish! reminds me of that passage.) Their sin lands them back in the land of slavery from which the Lord had been so gracious as to deliver them. Again I see where my own stubbornness might lead. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.
The sadness. There's such a sad finality to the last chapter as the fulfillments of the dreadful prophecies are recapped. But then right at the tail end, in the last four verses, we are left with a glimmer of hope -- the king of Babylon lifts up Jehoiachin's head. God is faithful and never utterly abandons those with whom He has covanented. There is always hope for the remnant.
I'm feeling much better today, just in time to head to NH to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday tomorrow! Shhhh...it's a surprise...she's not expecting me! Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 4/27/2004 03:15:00 PM
• • Permalink