The photo above is from the ‘Commons’ free images of the Celsus Library 117 AD in ancient Ephesus, a gift of love to honour his late father, Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, Roman Senator of the Province of Asia, from his son Gaius Julius Aquila.
It was probably the Apostle Paul who writes the book of Ephesians in 70-80 AD as a beautiful Hebrew style poem about how God has chosen to bless his covenant people. In Jesus, Messiah, now everyone can join that family and find that grace.
After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem twice in 597 BC and again in 70 AD and the subsequent exile of the Israelites, rabbis had to translate the texts of the Jewish Scriptures as they read. Few understood Hebrew then. The rabbis also updated the text into current contemporary idioms and contexts. These non-literal translations were called targums.
Below are my two different attempts to follow this practice using a text from Ephesians 3 on God’s love – to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day week. The first one is my wild artist effort to be outside of the box after watching the 61stGrammy Awards, the second, a calmer version for the more studious among us. Which do you prefer?
Whether God is a black woman like in “The Shack”
Or Jesus of Nazareth, the embodiment of
Old Testament wisdom literature
God is real and willing to give a course,
A whole series of courses in real practical
Wisdom, in fact the cosmic wisdom God wants us
To have is a new wave of wisdom programs
That permeate universities, corporations, hospitals
Care homes, the prison system and immigration
God not only provides a Tutor, the Spirit
But will program our software
Powered by the user’s faith
To end up with an A+ doctorate degree
In powerful world leaders and spiritual
Gurus and demons destroying type
Of Matrix surprising power
We have a personal Benefactor
A Patron who has paid for us to
All we have to do is register
And stick with the program
Out of love for our Handmaker
In these individualized 2.0 programs
For kindness ME to WE work
We can contact the Handmaker’s
We do not work alone
A state-of-the-art studio
Awaits us each day with regular
Field trips offered and practicums
Provided for real-life hands-on
Career impressive callings
The work is messy, filled with chemicals
And hot and cold suffering, crying
Masks, gloves are provided
In metanarrative wisdom
The Handmaker gives us free reign
To create landscapes and portraits
Sculptures and installations
That show Whose love-rooted and
Program we are in
In fact, in the Wisdom art school
We find ourselves, by faith beloved
The painting, the Hand-pulled
The sculptures ourselves
The handmade Spirit-living art
Donated to gallery visitors
Installed in the Grand Grammy Awards
- God did this as part of his forever plan. Thank you to Jesus for this in all he did on the Cross.
- As a result, Jesus allows us the chutzpah to come closer to God trusting.
- Please do not be down when you see me having a hard time on your behalf. Others will see and give you perks.
- I fold my body before Abba.
- The One whose vast array of creatures owe him life.
- God is awesome and magnificent. I offer you to God for powerful modelling.
- And so Christ will hang out with you and in you trust. Stay there grounded in deep affection and don’t run off.
- I lay you and all Jesus mentees in his imagination to see the great dimensions of this affection.
- This care is actually immeasurable in its excellence and scope. Then all that you are will be God-coloured.
- I ask God to make our New Covenant community do God justice in word and deed fulfilling God’s blueprint for humanity and showing the very nature of God to all.
- God is capable of doing in us more than we can request of dream up. May it be so.