Fences and bridges

During WWII there was a platoon of Army Rangers deployed well behind enemy lines on a critical mission during the European campaign. A single sniper bullet had killed one of the platoon members. The mission had to continue, but they just could not leave their friend as a stranger in a strange land, buried in an unmarked grave that they might never again find. They remembered a small Catholic church in the area. So, under the cover of the moonless night, they approached the church and rectory, and knocked on the door. After a while a single light came on in the house. Eventually, the door cautiously opened, and the parish priest even more cautiously greeted them. Continue reading

Moving Fences

In Bible Study, we are blessed to have a participant who teaches biblical Hebrew at the college and graduate level. She always brings interesting insights into the origin of Hebrew words and expressions. For example, there a root word in Hebrew that is used to form the words for “neighbor”, “friend,” and “enemy.”  Suddenly the expression, “Hold your friends close and your enemies closer” has a bit more depth – and in either case, they are neighbors. So, when Jesus responds to the questions, “…and who is my neighbor?” Then the we see the challenge – to cross over to embrace the other. That challenge is even in the very word “Hebrew” which comes from the Semitic word “a’piru” – those who cross over. Continue reading