And the earth was tohu vavohu,
And darkness was upon the face of the deep,
And the Ruach Elohim was hovering upon the face of the waters.
Am I a yam, or a tannin, that You set a mishmar over me?
Let us, therefore, in the faith of the disciples, hold frequent converse with our Master. For the world is like the sea to us, my sisters and brothers, of which it is written, “This is the great and wide sea, there go the ships; the Leviathan, which You have created to play therein.” We float on this sea, as with the wind, through our own freewill, for every one directs his course according to his will, and either, under the pilotage of the Word, he enters into rest, or, laid hold on by pleasure, he suffers shipwreck, and is in peril by storm. For as in the ocean there are storms and waves, so in the world there are many afflictions and trials. The unbelieving therefore “when affliction or persecution arises is offended,” as the Lord said. For not being confirmed in the faith, and having his regard towards temporal things, he cannot resist the difficulties which arise from afflictions. But like that house, built on the sand by the foolish man, so he, being without understanding, falls before the assault of temptations, as it were by the winds. But the saints, having their senses exercised in self-possession, and being strong in faith, and understanding the Word, do not faint under trials; but although, from time to time, circumstances of greater trial are set against them, yet they continue faithful, and awaking the Lord Who is with them, they are delivered. So, passing through water and fire, they find relief and duly keep the feast, offering up prayers with thanksgiving to God Who has rescued them. For either being tempted they are known, like Abraham, or suffering they are approved, like Job, or being oppressed and deceitfully treated, like Joseph, they patiently endure it, or being persecuted, they are not overtaken; but as it is written, through God they “leap over the wall” of wickedness, which divides and separates sisters and brothers, and turns them from the truth. In this manner the blessed Paul, when he took pleasure in infirmities, in reproach, in necessities, in persecutions, and in distresses for Christ, rejoiced, and wished all of us to rejoice saying, “Rejoice always; in everything give thanks.” – Athanasius, Festal Letter 19 § 7
Redux: In Praise of His Spirit
But now says Hashem that created you, O Ya’akov,
And He that formed you, O Yisroel, Fear not; for I have redeemed you,
I have called you by your shem:
You are Mine.
When you pass through the mayim, I will be with you,
and through the neharot, they will not sweep you away,
and when you walk through the eish, you will not be burned;
nor will the flame consume you.
For I am Hashem Eloheicha, the Kadosh Yisroel, your Moshi’a.
I gave Mitzrayim for your ransom,
Kush and Seva exchanged for your place.
Since you are precious in My sight, and honored. I love you.
So will I give people in exchange for you,
and nations in exchange for your nefesh.
Fear not. I am with you:
I will bring your zera from the east, and gather you from the west;
I will say to the north: Give them up! And to the south: Don’t hold them back!
Bring My banim from afar, and My banot from ends of the earth;
Even every one that is called by My Shem:
all who I have created for My glory. I have formed and I have made.
Lead out the blind that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.
Let all HaGoyim gather together, and let the peoples be assembled.
Who among them can declare this, and show us former things?
Let them produce their witnesses, that they may be vindicated,
let them hear, and say, it is true!
You are My witnesses, says Hashem, and servant whom I have chosen;
so that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He;
before Me there was no god formed, none shall there be after Me.
I, even I, am Hashem; and apart from Me there is no Moshi’a.
I declared, saved, and proclaimed, when there was no foreign gods among you.
therefore you are My witnesses, says Hashem, that I am El.
Yes, before the yom was, I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My Yad.
I act, and who shall reverse it?
Hashem says, your Rescuer, the Holy One of Yisroel;
For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I shall bring down the fugitives,
all of them, even the Kasdim, whose shout of joy is in the ships.
I am Hashem, your Kadosh, the Creator of Yisroel, your Melech.
Hashem says, who makes a Way in the yam, and a path in the mayim azzim;
Who drew out the merkavah and horsemen, the army and warrior;
they die together, they will not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched like a wick.
Forget the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Hineni, I am doing a new thing; now it shall rise!
Do you perceive it?
I will even make a Way in the midbar, and neharot in the desert.
Even wild animals honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches;
because I give water in the midbar, and neharot in the desert,
I give drink to My People, My Bachir.
This people have I formed for Myself; so they might recount My praise.
But you did not call upon Me, O Ya’akov; you grew weary of Me, O Yisroel.
You did not present Me lambs as your offerings, nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices.
I did not exact the service of offerings, nor wearied you for incense, frankincense.
You brought Me no fragrant calamus with kesef,
nor did you fill Me with the fat of your sacrifices;
but you made Me to service your chattot, you have wearied Me with your avonot.
I, even I, am He Who blots out your peysha’im for Mine own sake,
and will not remember your chattot.
Put Me in remembrance, let us plead together at Court?
Speak up, for the sake of you being declared righteous!
Your “fathers” have sinned, and your “mediators” have rebelled against Me.
So, I have cursed “holy princes,” banned Ya’akov, and exposed Yisroel to disarray.
Wind moves through a harp,
In tribute the strings sing.
The Lord’s Spirit suffuses my soul,
By His leave my cores surge, sway, and heave.
My undivided being celebrates His holy breath,
He breathes into me praise for His authority.
Every right thing depends on the Lord,
He destroys all things rebellious.
It was this Way in the beginning,
It will be until the end.
No thing stands contrary,
No thing overcomes Him.
His will unfurls in glory,
By grace, He is dedicated to renown.
Seas flow out of Him to become an ocean.
He recalls all shattered things to the Temple.
No human bondage will alter this course.
Religious profiteers and charlatans perish,
As their wills desiccate the whole Earth.
His torrential forces deluge all of creation.
One day, all who thirst on land will drink.
They are rescued to be made whole.
Their healing cascades from His pains,
The Most High’s compassion tides the libation.
Blessed are the ministers of His drink offering,
The unalloyed servants with this Water.
They refresh every withered land,
Joyous hearts quench scorched wills.
They seize souls from Sheol deep,
By His breath they will not drown.
Even those limp in benthic descent,
Willingly they are snatched up to Life.
Not straying the ocean away they rise,
Tempest-tossed, arrival enflames their eyes.
Our Lord’s possessions are loyal and true,
Long-annealed in eternity’s Living Water.
Rescue, in the reality of the present, demands we understand our past honestly, and He never calls us to live in nostalgic thoughts or dwell in traditional delusions. God always re-orders us to focus on “the new thing” that He is bringing about today, which is His growth and healing of others as ourselves and our world. Similarly, castaway any vague future formed by personal desires; notice what happens then. If we look and listen for what God desires of us every day, instead of what we chose to believe about Him on our own occasions, then we will perceive His work and participate in Him with greater joy at His pleasure.
It Is About Time
(Burn your floaties for a deep dive thread September 25th at sunset)