Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rhetoric for Sundays

This morning in church, our pastor highlighted some of the beautiful rhetoric of the gospel.  Much of the rhetoric of Jesus, especially in the gospel of Luke, has to do with paradox and antithesis.  Jesus exalts the poor and lowly and brings down the lofty and proud. 

To illustrate this powerful message, we examined the story of the bent woman in Luke 13.  With some wonderful rhetoric of his own, our pastor preached on this passage.  He referred to the fact that our world, as this woman,  is bent and twisted.  Yet, it was only with the bending of rules and regulations that Jesus was able to make the bent woman straight again.  There is a wonderful linguistic antithesis between bent and straight, and his bringing in the "bending" Sabbath rules illustrates this message all the more profoundly. 

This is also the use of another figure, that of antanaclasis, or the using the same word in close proximity but in different ways.  It is used quite literally with regard to the woman, she is bent and hunched over, yet it is used figuratively or metaphorically with the use of "bending" the rules.

Are there rules or regulations in our life that keep the world bent where God might have us straighten it?

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