mu''a'vo' mu' - A Klingon Word from the Word

Monday, October 28, 2013

Water of Salvation

 vaj tlhej Quch SoH DIchDaq draw bIQ pa' vo' the wells vo' toDtaHghach.
Therefore with joy you will draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Our life depends on water.  From the quenching of thirst, to the growing of crops, to the climate that keeps us alive - water is our life.  So it's a an apt parallel to speak of God's loving care as bIQ pa' vo' the wells vo' toDtaHghach - water from the wells of salvation.

Even now we need to express our gratitude to God, thanking him, praising him, and telling others about him. From the depths of our gratitude, we must praise him. And we should share the Good News with others.  (Life Application Bible)

The assurances God has given us of his love, and the experiences we have had of the benefit and comfort of his grace, should greatly encourage our faith in him and our expectations from him: "Out of the wells of salvation in God, who is the fountain of all good to his people, you shall draw water with joy. God's favour shall flow forth to you, and you shall have the comfort of it and make use of the blessed fruits of it."   (Matthew Henry)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Things that are above

cher lIj yab Daq the Dochmey vetlh 'oH Dung, ghobe' Daq the Dochmey vetlh 'oH Daq the tera'.

Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth - Col 3.2

Perspective matters - and the things, the Dochmey, that we focus on will draw us along.   That is, what we attend to will give us direction.  As the Life Application Bible notes:

truth gives us a different perspective on our life here on earth, looking at life from God’s perspective and seeking what he desires. This is the antidote to materialism; we gain the proper perspective on material goods when we take God’s view of them. The more we regard the world around us as God does, the more we will live in harmony with him. We must not become too attached to what is only temporary.

Where are you looking for what matters?

Monday, August 12, 2013

the earth was formless and empty
the tera' ghaHta' formless je
chenHa' chIm je

Lately I've been reading Matthew Clarke's ( complete commentary on the Bible. It's a classic work and I found I could get it for my Kindle for a remarkably low price - it makes a nice source for reflection in devotional reading and study. (You can also find it online at I appreciate sources like this - they provide interesting insights and they aren't encumbered with controversies or concerns of our particular age.

I love this reflection:

The Creator could have made his work perfect at first, but by this gradual proceeding he would show what is, ordinarily, the method of his providence and grace. Let us learn hence, That atheism is folly, and atheists are the greatest fools in nature; for they see there is a world that could not make itself, and yet they will not own there is a God that made it. Doubtless, they are without excuse, but the god of this world has blinded their minds.

What I appreciate about that is Clarke looks at creation and recognizes, it's NOT done. God works carefully, taking his time. And he still does.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Fear, treasure, and being prepared

vaD  nuqDaq  lIj treasure  ghaH,  pa'  DichDaq  lIj  tIq  taH  je.

par vaii gar treasure is, ogir will gar kar'rta cuyir also.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 12:34

Whether in Klingon, Mando'a or English, Jesus's words, remind us to consider our priorities, and recognize what decisions we make about things we treasure.

As Karoline Lewis notes:

Being ready for Jesus' second coming is less about any actual time and place and more about imagining Jesus' activity in the world, when and where you least expect it or imagine seeing it. In other words, waiting around, waiting for instructions, is not going to cut it. Fear, treasure, and being prepared is the pattern for discipleship. Being without fear, knowing the source of your treasure -- that is, your identity, your worth -- makes it possible to be prepared for and an actual participant in God's kingdom.

Lord, help us to treasure you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

tu' - Find

 Oh vetlh jIH knew nuqDaq jIH might tu' ghaH!
 vetlh jIH might ghoS 'ach Daq Daj seat!  

 Oh that I knew where I might find him!
 That I might come even to his seat!  Job 23.3

I dearly love the book of Job.  It demolishes my ledger-book faith and shocks me with Job's sincere confidence in his own case.  I have no idea what a Klingon would make of it.  I think they'd rally with him in his self-defence, and howl with fury at his supposed comforters.

[And hello to any and all of my followers - time has worked against me, these days podcasts aren't in my schedule - stay tuned though, and watch here for more posts.]

Thursday, December 06, 2012

These Lttle Ones.... (St. Nicholas Day repost)

'ach vaj 'oH ghaH ghobe' the DichDaq vo' lIj vav 'Iv ghaH Daq chal vetlh wa' vo' Dochvammey mach ones should chIlqu'.
Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

(click for podcast)

If you're a pastor, and looking for a way to quickly be driven out of your parish - I can't think of a better controversy to raise than.... a discussion about Santa Claus. I fear at times that the deepest beliefs of the Bible could be question without the kind of difficulties a preacher would meet if they weighed in on the reality of Kris Kringle.

Nor am I brave enough to tread on this legend - though I wonder what a Klingon would make of some of the stories? The Klingon disposition toward things military lend to a tendency to be (shall we say?) paranoid. Imagine how they'd feel about a silent intruder who routinely slips in past all defenses to surprise the inhabitants! Motivated by generosity or not - I expect a Klingon hearing of such stealth would be more alarmed than happy.

But - maybe if they were introduced to the real Santa Claus - St Nicholas:

St. Nicholas, lover of the poor and patron saint of children, is a model of how Christians are meant to live. As priest and bishop, Nicholas put Jesus Christ at the center of his life and ministry. His concern for children and others in need or danger expressed a love for God which points toward Jesus, the source of true caring and compassion. Embracing St. Nicholas customs can help recover the true center of Christmas—the birth of Jesus.

Understanding St. Nicholas as the original and true holiday gift-giver also helps shift focus to giving rather than getting, compassion rather than consumption, need rather than greed. This can help restore balance to increasingly materialistic and stress-filled Advent and Christmas seasons.

St. Nicholas is beloved throughout the world and continues to be revered in Christian tradition, especially as protector and patron of children in the West and as Wonderworker in the East. The St. Nicholas Center aims to bring Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians together in common purpose—to help people understand and appreciate the original St. Nicholas, the only real Santa Claus.
[http://www.stnicholascenter.orgI encourage you to visit the site to learn more]
As a people - Klingons are depicted as fierce warriors - potent enemies in battle. But anyone who reads at all far in the lore of Star Trek will know how fiercely they honor and guard their family - they know the value of protecting children. They'd likely be impressed by the stories - some quite fantastic - of St. Nick's rescue of children. Or how he protected the honor of dowry-less girls by secretly presenting them with gifts of gold coins.

In the Bible Jesus says these words, used in the readings for the commemoration of St. Nicholas:

'ach vaj 'oH ghaH ghobe' the DichDaq vo' lIj vav 'Iv ghaH Daq chal vetlh wa' vo' Dochvammey mach ones should chIlqu'.
Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

The mach - little - ones matter. Not just to a saint like Nicholas, but to God. In this season we have many opportunities to be generous. What can we do to protect the neediest among us?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daq 'Iv taH the batlh reH je ever. Amen.
to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen Galatians 1:5

(click for podcast)

There are limits to the practical value of studying a language like Klingon - which is not to say there are NONE. It is certainly a great way to learn about linguistics - and understand the limits of translation between languages and cultures. And in studying languages, real and constructed, you also can discover a few universals.

Without warp drives or cloaking devices, words have the power to move across borders, from culture to culture. Some time ago I talked about Alleluia - a scripture word that has found its way into many languages. Today I've got another - a universal word you all know whether you speak Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Creole, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Kenyan, Latvian, Maori, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, or Xhosa. Can somebody say "amen?"

Originally a Hebrew word, from a primitive root meaning to build up or support, Amen has become a part of many languages. We see it used in different ways in the Bible. As a word used to reinforce a statement (eg. when the we read in the Nehemiah "The whole assembly responded, 'Amen,' "), used in prayer ("Bless his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!" Psalm 72:19)) and as a title for Christ ("the one who is the Amen" Rev 3:14) Actually, even when we don't see it, you can find "Amen" being used, for it is a word that at times IS translated. For example, the familiar words of Jesus as translated in the King James Bible "Verily, verily, I say unto you" translate the Greek "amen amen lego umin" (amen, amen I say to you).

I think it's natural that, in translating Biblical texts in some distant future, we'd preserve "Amen" as a part of the vocabulary. And just as naturally, we'd include synonyms for the strong affirmation when the congregation calls out "Amen!" For Klingons, I'd nominate "HIja'!" That's one of the Klingon words for yes, and I can imagine a Klingon preacher calling out
HIja' noblaH'a' vay'  - can somebody give a HIja'?
But what is the point? Is "Amen" simply a rallying cry? Is it no more than a religious cheer or demonstration of loyalty. No - I'd say that the bottom line is truth. As a verb, it signifies to confirm, establish, verify; to trust, or give confidence; as a noun, truth, firmness, trust, confidence; as an adjective, firm, stable. We say "amen" to what is indeed TRUE.

It's not unusual to regard believers as engaging in some disconnected-from-reality enterprise. To see worshippers as being part of a fanciful set of beliefs that don't connect to the day-to-day world. I disagree, and think it is a shame when some believers appear to question science - seeming to fear or doubt the truth. The foundations of a Biblical faith are found in dictates like those of Leviticus "'You shall not steal; neither shall you deal falsely, nor lie to one another. (19:11). The AMEN of believers is to a faith that includes honesty as central - so core to the faith that it is within the ten commandments.

Those who commit themselves to the God of the Bible are putting their trust in one who we're told "cannot lie." So when considering the promises of God - take heart! Whether you speak Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Creole, Croatian,Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Klingon, Latvian, Mando'a, Maori, Russian, or Vulcan - these promises are indeed something about which to shout AMEN!
vaD however law' 'oH the promises vo' joH'a', Daq ghaH ghaH the . HIja'..
vaj je vegh ghaH ghaH the .Amen,. Daq the batlh vo' joH'a' vegh maH.

For however many are the promises of God, in him is the "Yes." Therefore also through him is the "Amen," to the glory of God through us. 2Co 1:20

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