Saturday, May 13, 2006


toDtaHghach belongs Daq joH'a'. lIj blessing taH Daq lIj ghotpu.

Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing be on your people. (psalm 3.8)
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Someone once said "it doesn't matter so much WHO you are, as WHOSE you are." In this, the last verse of Psalm 3, we see the phrase - On your people / Daq lIj ghotpu'. Three simple words in the English or Klingon Language Version - only two "al amchah" in Hebrew, but in that idea - "belonging to God's people," that is knowing YOU ARE HIS, is endless riches (It is even a more terse phrase in proper Klingon: ghotpu'lI'Daq. ghotpu'/ people plus the second person possessive/lI' and the suffix, Daq, for location.)

Where do you belong? Once I remarked to a friend, while we were attending a conference, "I don't feel like I belong here."

My friend cheerfully remarked, "oh, I never feel at home anywhere."

Words that might signal a dour sort of person. But my friend wasn't like that at all.

I think his remarks echoed the words of 1 Peter:

parmaqqay, jIH beg SoH as foreigners je pilgrims, Daq abstain vo' fleshly lusts, nuq veS Daq the qa';

Rendered in the translation "The Message" as:

Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it.

The Biblical affirmation of citizenship that is rooted in eternity, not some temporary home or nation.

Recently, at my house, we've decided to "drop our landline." That is, end the wired phone service we've had for over 25 years. For a variety of reasons it's a practical decision, though one I've wrestled with. This is the number my kids grew up with, a number I've had for half my life.

But. It isn't any more permanent than my house - or my body. This world is NOT my home. I've got better - and more lasting membership in eternity.

toDtaHghach belongs Daq joH'a'. lIj blessing taH Daq lIj ghotpu.

Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing be on your people. (psalm 3.8)

This is the membership, the citizenship that matters - our being God's people; Again, from "The Message" I like the rendering of the passage we're considering today, Psalm 3's final verse:

Real help comes from GOD.
Your blessing clothes your people!

Salvation, REAL help, comes not from OUR effort, but God's. Notice too that David doesn't deal merely with FACTS: "God saves", but RELATIONSHIPS: YOUR blessing on YOUR people.

In Hebrews 11, that monumental chapter on faith, we hear Abraham's wandering described

vaD Abraham nejta' vaD the veng nuq ghajtaH the foundations, 'Iv builder je maker ghaH joH'a'.

For Abraham looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Someday we may wander far, just as Abraham did. We'll follow our faithful robot emissaries to the stars. New homes will orbit new worlds. Perhaps we'll even meet the real Klingons or Vulcans or whatever race God has created in depths out there.

What will matter then (as it does now) is not which club or congregation we join. Nor does our address or phone number or radio frequency change who we are. What will matter is WHOSE we are.

What will matter is that we can say

joH'a' ghotpu'lI' maH!
God, we are YOUR people!

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