Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m writing 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.
Today the verb I’m looking at is ברא / bara. It means to create, but unlike other Hebrew words for forming, making or doing, bara is a theological term. The subject is invariably God.
That is, only God creates.
Continue reading The God who creates (a poem)
I’m back from my break and starting a new series!
Partly inspired by my Hebrew studies, I’m going to write 12 poems inspired by 12 Hebrew verbs.
The first one I’m looking at is עמד a.mad (all the ‘a’ vowels are long). It means ‘to stand’ but can also mean ‘to endure’ and has strong connotations with service and ministry. Essentially, ‘to stand before’ or ‘to stand in the presence of’ was an idiom meaning ‘to serve.’
Continue reading The God who stands (a poem)
This is part of the series of letters I’m writing to people listed in Hebrews 11 as the “cloud of witnesses” who went before us. Today’s is to Sarah. Her story is broken up and intersects with those of her husband, Abraham, and her slave Hagar. You can find the relevant passages in Genesis 12:10–20, Genesis 16, Genesis 17:15–22, Genesis 18:1–15, Genesis 20, Genesis 21:1–21.
Sarah’s not exactly a comfortable story—both in terms of how Abraham treated her and how she treated Hagar. Nevertheless, Sarah’s story and her identity as a mother figure was of huge importance in Jewish thought and we can see this in New Testament writings.
Continue reading The story never told: a letter to Sarah
This is the fourth in the series of letters I’m writing to people listed in Hebrews 11 as the “cloud of witnesses” who went before us. Today’s is to Abram (later renamed Abraham) looking at the events of Genesis chapters 12–15. I will write another letter to Abraham in a couple of weeks.
I’ll be honest, I have many unanswered questions when it comes to Abraham. And part of me wonders if that’s the point: he wasn’t meant to be perfect. It was just that there were moments in his life when—for whatever reason—he was able to recognise the voice of God for what it was.
Continue reading What do you make of your younger self? A letter to Abram