Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter 15 November 2020
I shouldn’t be sitting here at my Mac, promised the surgeon that I’d take it easy for a couple of weeks. But here I am, resplendent in a turban bandage covering Tuesday’s op wound, and unresplendent without a shirt so that my coronary artery bypass “zipper” is displayed for all to see. Except there’s only Leisa and the dog to see it. No pics, this is a family pew sheet.
Ah, the dog. Yannie is our German Shepherd and she had a tumour cut out on Tuesday, the same day as my cochlear implant surgery. Poor Leisa had to toggle between the Mater, JCU Vet and working from home. Yannie is at my feet sporting a “cone of shame” to prevent her from licking her wound, and a couple of Leisa’s socks to prevent her from scratching it. We make a fine pair.
I know why I look like a knife sharpening block, but Yannie doesn’t know why bits of her do. She just knows that her supposed carers took her to a disinfectant-smelling place where she gets jabbed every few months, but this time they went to town on her. If another dog, Farside Cartoon style, were to ask where her wounds came from, she might answer like the false prophets in Zechariah 13, “I got them in the house of my (supposed) friends”. You might have heard that misapplied to Jesus. But no, the chapter makes it clear that Israel was awash with false prophets who ritually self-harmed themselves, a pagan custom. And when God had had enough and threatened drastic punishment, the false prophets said that they were simple shepherds and they had an accident at their mate’s house, that’s how they got injured.
Zechariah 13 is a sobering chapter of the consequences of falsely claiming to be speaking for God. The US Election has featured some particularly egregious examples of this sin; one or two of our own pollies are not purer than the driven snow when it comes to the same hypocrisy. If the chapter ended halfway through verse 9, there wouldn’t be much hope for either of our countries. But it doesn’t. The second half of the last verse picks up a promise from verse 1, that a fountain has been opened for uncleanness, and that God will say that we are His people and we will say that He is our God. Which brings us back to wounds. That ending promise rests on Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.