Selah

Spiritual Journey framed

SELAH …Today’s focus word comes compliments of SJT community member M.H.

SELAH!! …I satisfied my curiosity once, looking up the meaning of Selah. Apparently, I didn’t do a good enough job because I can’t say for sure, with any semblance of convinced certainty, what the words means. However, instead of looking up the word, I will take the chance that one of the other SJT community members will expound on it, and I will take my reflective time to share something I’ve been looking for the appropriate time and place to share.

With my confessor’s recommendation, this year, I am [supposed to be] prayerfully reading one psalm every day. Every time I read a psalm or listen to an Old Testament reading at Mass, I am reminded of the debt of gratitude I feel toward my Jewish brothers and sisters.

Inasmuch as God does not revoke His gifts, they remain His Chosen People, even if we Christians have become the New Israel. In His Human Nature, Jesus was Jewish. That is enough reason for me to want to know about Jewish culture, to better understand the life and times of my Savior. His Mother was Jewish, His Apostles were Jewish. Christianity, I think, is the full-flowering of Judaism–of humankind’s expression of faith, hope, and love for the Triune God.

I LOVE the Old Testament priestly blessing that is sometimes given at Mass, and that religious orders like the Franciscans use as part of their charism:

“The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you His peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

This is my prayer for each of us this year. (Maybe another post, I will reflect on the words of that prayer which I love so much that I have it posted in more than one room in my house.)

SELAH! If I recall correctly, that is a word of joyful emphasis. I look forward to reading other SJT posts today to find out for sure. (I could be wrong, but it reminds me of the US Marine’s affirmative “Hurrah!”)

Meanwhile, thank you for indulging me in letting me share my love, respect, and gratitude for Jewish witness. I pray that the Lord will bless His Jewish people and keep them, and one day, please God, may they accept Jesus for Who He is, as we believe in Him.

More than once I have been blessed to have Jewish colleagues as part of our Scripture sharing groups. Their reverence for God, even to not speaking His Name is something to emulate at at time when the Lord’s Name is so taken in vain! Their reverence for the Holy Name of God is a strong reminder, too, of how blessed we are to be invited into a personal relationship with God through Jesus, Who invites us to have His Name always on our lips!

SELAH!!

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16 Responses to Selah

  1. Irene Latham says:

    “Joyful emphasis.” Fits with what I read about it being like “Amen.” Thank you for your thoughts, which are a blessing to me today.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank YOU for taking time to read the post and to share your most appreciated affirming comments. Your posts are a blessing to me. Selah! Thank God for you.

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  2. The joy for me in this word is the fluidity of meaning. “Joyful emphasis”!!! I’m adding that! Love that so much!!! I love how you got there today. Thank you for working out this word and writing about it today!

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for inviting us to participate in reflecting on your OLW, a 5-letter word which turned out to be anything but little!…Thank you for taking to read the post; I’m very grateful for the comments you made. Of special joy is the idea that something that occurred to me has value for you; that it adds on to or illumines your OLW reflections. (I hope at the end of the year you’ll share a summary reflection.) I’m not usually reticent about researching, but I really felt called to learn the denotation from others, and “just” to share the pent-up feelings I’ve had, wanting to acknowledge and appreciate the Jewish roots that belong to all Christians. Thank you for being okay with where “your” OLW word took me! God bless you!

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  3. Donna Smith says:

    “I pray that the Lord will bless His Jewish people and keep them, and one day, please God, may they accept Jesus for Who He is, as we believe in Him.”
    A wonderful prayer!

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for taking time to read and to affirm! A great privilege for me has been having Jewish friends who support my religious beliefs and know that as much as I love and respect their religious heritage, I wish they knew Jesus as their Messiah. Some day, right? …Meanwhile, they have graced Christianity with so many wonderful prayers. And now I have even more to be grateful for as I try to live [Selah], as you wrote in your post. Thank you!

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  4. ldk says:

    I’m not sure I fully grasp the word yet, and I’m enjoying a chance to read each person’s thoughts about it. I think that when we pause to reflect on the moment we are giving “joyful emphasis” to that experience. Thank you for your inspiring message.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for taking time to read to share your thoughts. Like you, I’m not sure I fully grasp the word’s denotations and connotations, and am very much enjoying reading our SJT community’s reflections. I used to feel compelled to get/have all the “correct” answers–the one “right” definition of “Selah,” for example. Now I’m happy for some open-ended questions, with answers that mature as my Faith does, as I have the blessing to learn from SJT community members…God bless you for being one of them!

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  5. hollymueller says:

    You shared my mom’s favorite verse. 🙂 I love this: “Christianity, I think, is the full-flowering of Judaism–of humankind’s expression of faith, hope, and love for the Triune God.” Your love of Jewish traditions and people is wonderful. I always thought that Messianic Jews have the full picture.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for taking time to read the post, and in your usual affirming way, to make me joyful that I have shared meaningful SJT thoughts! God bless you! (I’m with your mother; I just love that blessing!)

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  6. dorireads says:

    I suspect there were plenty of times those Hebrew singers felt like a good “hurrah”!

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for taking time to read the post! I appreciate your affirming comment, as well as the smile it brought to my face this morning! Selah! Hurrah! (If I recall, the singers led the troops into battle, so maybe they really were around to “hurrah” after the victory:) God bless you!

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  7. cvarsalona says:

    Bobbie, seeing life through the eyes of joyful emphasis is a beautiful thought. Thank you for letting me add that phrase to my own pause and reflect practice. I know now that I need to add more of that to my daily practice and prayer.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Honestly, I’m not even sure I know what those combined words mean; it almost hurts my brain to put those two words together: “joyful emphasis.” But they just came out when I was trying to explain my remembrance of the meaning of “Selah.” One thing’s for sure: with all the beautiful reflections on this Old Testament word, it’s one that will be with me throughout the coming days. God bless you, and thank you for the personal, positive things you take the time to think and to say in response to the SJT postings. I am overjoyed whenever something I’ve thought (even if it’s a hardly-yet-budding thought) leads to someone else’s reflection. That is one of the many special graces of this SJT sharing! Thank you for being a steady light source. God bless you!

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  8. Lovely reflection, Bobbie. I feel the same gratitude. What a legacy we have in the Bible’s stories and teachings. I’m so grateful to those who copied it and memorized it and passed it along. I love your last paragraph, where you contrast the traditional Jewish hesitation to speak God’s name with our eagerness to have Jesus’ name always on our lips. I never thought of that before.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you very much for gracing this post with your reading and commenting. We have so much to be grateful for inside and outside Christianity! It is such a joy to share reflections on SJT; I am always spurred on to new or deeper reflections, especially by you, so it is a special treat to be able to reciprocate! We really all are on this journey together. God bless you–and our Jewish brothers and sisters!

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