Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lent - Day 31

The Hebrew word for "salvation" means literally "to make wide," or "to make sufficient," and our friend had recognized that the road he had taken was not wide enough to sustain his life; it was sufficient only as a way leading to death. I was glad to learn from The Oxford Companion to the Bible that "the primary meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words translated 'salvation' is non-religious." The Hebrew words usually come from a military context, and refer to victory over evil or rescue from danger in this life. And in the gospels it is often physical healing that people seek from Jesus, relief from blindness, paralysis, leprosy. When he says to them that their faith has saved them, it is the Greek word for "made you well" that is employed It seems right to me that in so many instances in both the Hebrew scriptures and the gospels salvation is described in physical terms, in terms of the here and now, because I believe that this is how most of us first experience it. Only later do the more spiritual implications of salvation begin to make themselves known.

Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

No comments: