[reaction to OYB’s Sept. 18-20 readings]
Consider first this excerpt from our primary text:
4 This is what the LORD says to me:
“As a lion growls,
a great lion over its prey—
and though a whole band of shepherds
is called together against it,
it is not frightened by their shouts
or disturbed by their clamor—
so the LORD Almighty will come down
to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
5 Like birds hovering overhead,
the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”
6 Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against. 7 For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.
Now this excerpt:
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstacies! gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!
I’m not sure who would be more pissed off by the comparison, Allen Ginsberg or Isaiah, but reading the poetic bits of Isaiah, which it turns out are not the only parts, reminds me of reading beat poetry. Particularly because I am so far away from the era that is the topic of the poems. All of Howl is here and all of Isaiah 31 is here.
Finishing up Pauls letter to the Galatians, I think it is noteworthy that he speaks as unkindly of the law as he does of sin–saying they both imprison us. Of course, the freedom from the law will not manifest itself in immorality. Just like faith, true freedom will manifest itself in fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5. And, just cause it is often neglected, I noticed author of Proverbs agrees with Paul on the drunkenness bit: Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. 23:19-21.