“Behold!” The word appears over and over again in our scriptures. In the Greek and Hebrew it occurs more than 1,300 times. And yet in English translations the word is translated less than 30 times as “Behold.” Instead it is given other rather dull translations.
To see with the eyes is a physical act. The eyes send messages to the brain and so an image forms. We see. But to “Behold” is so different. To behold is an interior seeing. I wonder if the magic and mystery of the ancient texts were perhaps more tolerant of “beholding” than we moderns are. I wonder if that is why the english Bible so rarely uses the word. I wonder if we are uncomfortable with “beholding things” because to behold is an interior sight. We like proof. We like reality shows. We like to see images on tv or in the internet. We like to see. To “behold” on the other hand, is to see something which may be coming from God. And that can be frightening.
Tomorrow, we will gather as a church family. If you are not signed up by now, go ahead and come anyways! We will squeeze you in! We can find you a chair. We will get you a sandwich. No problem. But do come. Cancel your plans and come.
When we gather to imagine our future, to discuss our longings for Saint John’s, to share our hopes for being great ancestors – we will behold God at work. Jesus came as “the word”. not the idea. Words are important to God or God would not have chosen to come as “the Word”. “Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy…” …the Word of God has been made flesh.
Tomorrow, Saturday, we will gather and we will behold. We will not see. We will not chat. We will not plan. We will not imagine. We will not construct. No. We will be together – a family of people on “The Way.” And together, we will Behold.