WARNING: Uneven Chocolate Break detected
ENGAGING MANUAL OVERRIDE: It’s actually that way on purpose
PROCEEDING TO BLOG…
Today’s Chocolate: Tony’s Chocolonely Milk Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt
Today’s Passage: Psalm 114
I tend to forget how good The Prince of Egypt is. One of the things I like best about it is how it conveys a sense of scale. The monuments of Egypt are big. The crowds of Hebrew slaves are big. The Red Sea is big, and it’s a big event when God parts it. But without modern animation technology, how would you have conveyed the magnitude of the Exodus? If you were anything like the author of Psalm 114, you would have written a song.
You’d have had quite a challenge before you. Sounds in the air, ink on a page, or etchings in clay are so unlike the events they aim to describe, so how would you evoke, in the minds of your hearers, an event you’d never seen before? You’d write: “The sea looked and fled” (114:3). And you’d use music to deliver the weight of the image. Poking around online, it appears that this psalm may be one whose original music might be rediscovered or reconstructed–but I can’t speak with any authority to that.
I was about to write that we, as modern English readers, run the risk of missing something when we read this Psalm. But then I thought about it: when we read the English words on the page, the way that most of us approach the psalm, we experience them without music of any sort, and without the poetry of the original language. We run into the problems inherent in translation: how do you preserve both the meaning of the words and their particular phonetic/orthographic character? Forget running the risk–we necessarily miss something when we read this Psalm!
And what am I left with, separated in time and space from the gravity of God’s intervention in Israel’s history? How can I hope to understand the God whose sea-parting power I’ve never experienced? What can I do but pray to the God who broke through the Red Sea and hope that He’ll break through the psalm itself?
We’ve got a new chocolate bar today, contributed by Jenny Cook of Life in the Cookie Jar. I’d never heard of Tony’s Chocolonely before, but I dig their ethos right off the bat: they broadcast loud and clear that they’re committed to slavery-free chocolate and paying cocoa farmers a fair price for their goods. Just look at the inside of the bar wrapper!
Now that’s a message I can get behind, fam. Thanks again to Jenny for the new bar, and thanks to Tony’s Chocolonely for their commitment to chocolate that’s delicious and equitable! More on Tony’s in Monday’s post–and in the meantime, have a good weekend.