I like to read the Bible early in the morning. It is still dark and the light just starts to cut the dark night into layers of dawn. Shadows become trees and my morning Yarba Matte tastes bitter good. I read in three languages: English (the New King James Version, cause I like the rich traditional sound of it), German (the Martin Luther translation revised in 1987. This is my mothers Bible. Full of stickers and some old cards that she received from her friends. When my mama passed away I asked and took two things with me. Her Bible, that she read daily and a wall chimed clock. Now this two things are with me in Canada), and Russian (somehow my childhood tongue makes things clearer in my mind, still).
There are some passages that require first a time of meditation before they make any sense. Some phrases are hard to understand and lead me to some commentaries of wise sages and scientist before they reveal their rich meanings. Some thoughts make no sense and bring me to a screeching hold. What does this then mean? I ask myself and put the Bible aside. After rearranging the fireplace and putting some more wood in it. It is the 30 December and cold today -31 Celsius. The year ends with an emphasis of cold.
I still regret that I am such a lousy scholar of Greek and Hebrew. The original languages of the Bible. It should be on my list to master before I die, I think. Its like telling a German story or a Russian joke in English, it looses the spice and the punch and the color. Same is reading the Bible in a language it isn’t written. There must be so much richness lost in translation.
Today passage is in Colossians. Apostle Paul says v.5 … because of the Hope that is laid up for you in heaven … NKJV. … um der Hoffnung willen, die für euch bereit ist im Himmel … MLÜ. … в надежде на уготованное вам на небесах … SYNO, … Is there a Hope laid up for us in heaven? Why do you need Hope in heaven? Or is there something laid up that we are hoping to receive?
I consult plethora of commentaries of the NT. Somehow most of them center on the word “Hope” itself. As if that is the focal point of what Paul is saying is stored up for me (or us) in heaven. Why do I need hope in heaven? I hope there is nothing to hope for when I am in the presence of the Almighty. The Russian rendering start to make the most sense : “…in the hope of what is prepared for you in heaven”. Okay, I can live with this.
So, now in the context of the other passages it is completely sound. Jesus: … the reward or treasure in heaven (Matthew 5:12; Matthew 6:20; Matthew 19:21), Paul: the citizenship in heaven (Php 3:20), Peter: the inheritance reserved in heaven (1 Peter 1:4)
The gospel that was and is preached to all humankind gives us the hope of things stored up for us in heaven. Sweet. Those who went ahead of me experience it already!!! My mama, my sister, my father-in-law, my friends … They had this HOPE. Well, I cannot ask them how is it. Not for now. I am looking forward to that day. Ye, and I am hopeful now of what will come then.
Thanks, Apostle Paul for writing this lines. They come from a distant past, but are so healing, soothing and empowering for today. Oh, the day is up. Have to go.