Still Water and Lillies of the Field (# 1062)

5 09 2016


1.The river seemed to be on the same level as, or even higher than, me on my walk along the banks this morning — even though my eyes were about six feet above the surface. I expect the visual effect had something to do with the fact that the water was almost completely still. Of course this happens twice a day when at high tide but I rarely am there to witness the peacefulness of the still water. It is enough — reminding me to be grateful for another day of life.


2.The Visit

***: Hello
Adams Rubble:  See the little baby, Amen
Wrapped in a manger Amen
On Christmas morning,
Amen, Amen, Amen
***: Ah, the song from the 1963 Lillies of the Field movie with Sidney Poitier
The movie title actually refers to the parallel passage in Luke 12:27-28 that is part of the sermon on the mount.:

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!                          – Revised Standard Version

Adams Rubble:  Do you know that the lillies mentioned in Matthew have not been identified. Some people think it is the scarlet anemone because of the comparison to Solomon’s temple.
***: J.B. Phillips in his translation simply refers to them simply as wildflowers. This is closer to the Arabic use of lillies to mean simply wildflowers. I quoted the RSV version because of the translation “they neither toil nor spin” which is derived from the Codex Bezae and other early Syriac texts. In other words, the flowers do neither men’s nor women’s work, they just grow.
Adams Rubble:  We usually think of the beatitudes when we think of the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are those who are grateful for the beauty of the wildflowers and the appearances of nature. Blessed are those who respect and preserve nature for they will make it possible for future generations to walk among the lillies.
***: Amen.
Adams Rubble:  Looking at the title I can not help but think of water lillies and lotuses although that is a very different metaphor: beauty growing from muck…and…a different religion.
***: The utpala flower of Tara; the utpala is the symbol of the pure and it rises up from muck… but yes, we digress, we do, Adams.
Adams Rubble:  There was so much more in the Matthew passage that you could have discussed in yesterday’s post.
***: I was discussing the Galations reading but felt inspired to mention the lillies of the field.
Adams Rubble:  I find it interesting that the reading starts out talking about not being able to serve two masters but switches to a theme of not worrying about where the next meal or clothes will come from.
***: Yes, two readings in one. Maybe I better quote Matthew 6:24-34 here:

24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[b] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[c] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today    –RSV

Adams Rubble: We are not used to thinking in terms of two masters but the theme works very well with the Galatians part. It is difficult to satiate our desires for materialistic things while remembering to practice every day, religiously :).
***: Maybe impossible to satiate our materialistic desires. In the west we have so much difficult practicing on a regular basis. Your use of “religiously” to mean “systematically” is certainly suggestive of the importance of practicing regularly.
Adams Rubble:  We can’t even blog regularly any more.
***: Once upon a time there were daily blogs recording the results of practicing the 9 second stops.
Adams Rubble:  The nine second stops turned into 15 minute writings. Hard to keep that up. I understand that you met a rock over the weekend and tried to do the subject-object switch.
***: It was a rather large rock. Most of my attempts produced a subject/indirect object, i.e the rock stood next to “me”. The only sybject object I could come up with was the rock fell on “me”.
Adams Rubble:  Maybe one of these days that exercise will have some more meaning. It would be nice to revisit some of the things we pondered in the past, like my koan.
***: Well, that will be for some other day. Bye for now.
Adams Rubble:  Bye.





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