The weather in central Scotland these past fews days has been perfect for hill walks. I love the quality of the light during these short winter days. The sun sets by 3:30 PM and comes low across the sky. I am a sucker for a good sunset, and as we walked last night into the hills well over an hour after sunset, the sky and the moon radiated amazing light changing the look of the hills every minute.
Although we didn’t get snow for Christmas, a thick frost covered the ground and trees this morning making it almost a white Christmas.
Of course Christmas in the UK looks and sounds and tastes different than it does in the US. Folks get dressed up in “fancy dress” as seen in the photo of Captain Hook’s gay brother stocking the Marmite at Tescos.
The British sing some carols I never heard before and even when they sing songs where I know the words, they sing them with different tunes altogether. Food is different too, hot sweet punch, mince pies, Christmas pudding. I did make some vegan eggnog this mornig so that I can taste Christmas as I am used to it.
All of these cultural differences got me thinking about the Bible and how the cultures back in the First Century in the Greek-speaking Roman Empire were vastly different than our modern “Western” cultures today.
If little things like Christmas foods come out so differently between two modern English speaking countries, even with all the access to travel, the Internet, TV and film, how can we presume to understand the translated Bible texts written in another language, at another time, in cultures all together different that our own.
Yet people proclaim “The Bible says x,y,z!” and condemn whole groups of people who don’t fit in with the modern interpretation they ascribe to the texts. Like a good hill walk, we need to take it slowly with these texts, catch up with each other, be considerate of each others’ pace, stop, be still, wait and allow the Light to change the quality of our vistas.
And off I go to Christmas dinner. Happy Merry Funky!