In my childhood days it was customary in conservative Protestant families in the Netherlands to read a chapter from the Bible after the daily hot meal, either at lunch time or at supper time.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/arts-essays/2020/search-our-roots
As always you write a compelling evocative piece that grips you to the end — the end in this case being the hauntingly lovely Arvo Part’s “ which was the son of “.
I am in AWE of the amazingly youthful GRACIAS CHOIR singing A CAPPELLA .( always the most challenging complex choral art form ) ,
because they sing, without musical scores and from memory, all those complicated “ begat “ surnames, while producing musical excellence !
I will add Arvo Parts to my list of classical composers.
I also am proud of MY Dutch heritage, having a grandfather who was born and raised in the Netherlands — hence my Dutch last name meaning “ from the mills “ equivalent to “ Miller “ In English
But evoking those lovely windmills which dot the Dutch landscape.
The pertinent thrust of your provocative piece is that in listing all those fathers and sons ( and a few mothers thrown in ) we are reminded that God is our Father and we are his children.
Thanks again for this resonating reminder!
Speaking of roots, mine identify with Arvo Part’s in Estonia - was pleased his music made it to Spectrum. Estonian cultural heritage includes choral music in a big way. Choral music was responsible for keeping its cultural identity alive throughout the Soviet occupation of Estonia - from the end of WW II until the Soviets were kicked out in the 1990s. Estonians were distributed all around the world, escaping in small boats from this sea side country as the Soviet menace approached at the end of the war. That’s my heritage as my parents grabbed me and one little suitcase, and put out on the Baltic.
…which brings up the paradoxes. The one that reaches down to my soul is the paradox of having been part of the flotilla of fishing boats leaving Estonia in order to escape the Soviet regime, only to watch as the idiologies of that system rise and are being promoted in the land in which we sought refuge.
As for the other paradoxes - the three-person God, in particular, has always seemed unnecessary. The Bible can’t tell us about God precisely as he exists and functions. It must use metaphor and symbols to reach from the ineffable down to the clump of clay that became mankind. Men have created pictures with which to describe God so that He makes some sense in our everyday lives. We understand family, as it functions, and we have woven God into that understanding, as the FATHER, and his SON.
The God of the new “kingdom” operates through the influence of love; while God of Moses operated through deeds - blessings and curses - which was granted dependent on our “deeds of obedience”. In the “new” kingdom God shows up with in love, living within the heart of man. God needed to be SPIRIT to reach the heart of man. One God with three functions.
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