Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Some of you all know I love playing with words. One of the things I like to do is read a text in the Bible and backtrack to the original Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic and try to figure out the context.

One of the Hebrew words I've gotten fixated on this week is the word "Yadah".

The root of this word is the word “Yud”--literally "hand". Yadah literally means “praise” but more specifically, it means “praise by putting your hands out to God.” The yud is also the little pointer used in a synagogue service for reading the Torah. Generally, the Torah is not touched by human hands so the yud is used to keep one's place when reading it. There are Hebrew words for the right hand of God and the left hand of God, but occasionally the word "yud" is used in the context of "the hand of God."

It is also the root word in the word "Yehuda." Leah's 4th son was named Yehuda, and the name has a sense of thanksgiving in it--to be thankful. it is also the root for the word "Jew" so the root of this word also connotes a sense of thanksgiving and praise.

Now, I think the fundies have co-opted it with all their outstretched hands and speaking in tongues...but there is a part of it I want to take back from them. Receiving communion is a form of “yadah”. My holding the processional cross is a form of “yadah.” There’s “yadah” in all sorts of things we do in church every Sunday, and we don’t necessarily have to make a spectacle of ourselves to do it.

In the most simple sense, you know how I see “yadah”? It’s basically a two year old holding out his/her hands in that “pick me up” pose. I mean, think about it. If you are standing next to a two year old who is saying nothing but is holding up his or her hands to you, what do you do? You pick the kid up, DUH! You just pick the kid up and hold him/her and squeeze and give them a quiet “grrr” and a big pat on the back, maybe even swing the kid around a little with their feet tailing out behind him/her.

I like to think that is what God does with us. Thinking about this expands my view of what a “blessing” is. It means that all the things the various people handle at the altar, and what all you handle at the rail when getting Communion are blessings beyond their obvious meaning. They are moments where God holds us like two year olds wanting a hug, and being told, “You are blessed. You are loved.” Wow.

It also carries over into the affection we get in our everyday lives. When I’ve had a tough day, I’ll take all the “Sorry you had a tough day” hugs from anyone who will pass them out. I think I am understanding better WHY those are important to me. It’s because for every one you get, from every person who hands one out, they say, “I (the person giving the hug) am blessed that you (the person needing the hug) are in my life.” So all those pats on the back, those hugs, those moments where we just sort of “shoulder bump” people and wink at them or simply smile at them are all moments where we are doing God’s will and emulating God’s ability to make us feel blessed and “special”...and giving them out is also a blessing in that you are the instrument of God’s love in that instance. Wow, wow, and wow!


They are moments where God holds us like two year olds wanting a hug, and being told, “You are blessed. You are loved.”

Wow! is right, Kirk. Very nicely put. A bump on the shoulder or a hug to you - whatever works best - for that lovely thought.

And it has nothing to do with "yada, yada, yada", right?

naw, it's ta-DA!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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