Monday, July 13, 2009

The Way

by Daniel

Luther Seminary MTH students in the Bible division have to be a bit liberal with registration. It is a creative, but beneficent process. Here’s the rub: you aren’t tethered to such-and-such classes offered during the semester, but you have to make up for it with your own research. I personally appreciate the trade off. Because most of the Bible division classes aren’t applicable towards an MTH degree without an “upgrade,” I have had to propose several independent studies for the fall (six half credit courses). One of my independent research studies is an investigation of the kerygma (the “preaching or teaching” thrust) of the Song of the Sea in Exodus 15 and Deutero-Isaiah (Isaiah 40-55). I attest that a connection exists. Some scholars, such as Marcus Borg, argue that the task of Second Isaiah is to energize returning Jewish exiles: God is preparing the way of return. This makes sense, because by employing metaphors of a superhighway being built in the desert, the prophet declares: “In the wilderness prepare the way of Yahweh; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places plain.” The return from Babylon was no simple task. The language is fraught with memories of Exodus. Thus Second Isaiah’s task is to announce and encourage, proclaim and empower, the return from exile.

Well, something about this project has made me think about myself (in an introspective way). I ache for the days of my youth when I could sloth and feel “good” about it. In those days, the summer was a perpetual weekend: staying up late, sleeping even later, and coasting through the week day by day by day. But this is not the case today. Currently, I am energized in anticipation of the return of class. The superhighway of return to seminary is not literal, but internal (dare I say…spiritual). I have been greatly anticipating this upcoming fall semester. Come September, however, I will likely be holding my tongue.



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