Mark 13:31

The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

oh my goodness
my beautiful intention
delicious in foretaste

this good word
scatters belovedness
upon every thing

every where is here
reveling in revealing
it is good

this and that and all
vibrates in and out
here gone not gone

yet a good word
graciously gently
goes to a good night

to dream strongly enough
to smile in the dark
and so go well anew

This assertion that Jesus’ teaching/healing will not pass away or get lost in time—“my words will never stop being strong, dependable prophecy”— also has a positive presentation available—Jesus’ presence will have lasting validity, “my words will always have their power”.

Tracking words backward is nearly always an exercise in intersectionality. More and more connections get made and turn the dullest of comments into poetry. They also have the effect of calling into question such assertions as this one.

Taking the first word, οὐρανός (ouranos, “the vaulted expanse of the sky”), here translated as “heaven” we can begin to peek behind whatever may not fade away. Sky is the better translation and it still carries overtones of a three-story creation with the overarching firmament above us that is a boundary of what has been too easily named and too poorly defined—heaven.

Oὐρανός can be traced back to ὄρος (oros, raise or rear) as in mountain climbing or raising a young one. In the first place, to raise up, connects us with the rising Jesus talks about that comes after suffering and death. The temporalities of suffering and death find their lasting quality of rising, skying. There are suggestions here of elevating, as in pulling up a fish from below. Again, the task of disciples both every where and every when.

In the second place, to rear, we have the image of a bird rising, but that bird is grounded in what we call a hen or rooster. Hens are brood animals. In Matthew 23:37–39 Jesus calls himself a hen weeping over Jerusalem. Roosters announce a new day. It won’t be long before Mark has Jesus warn Peter about betrayal before a new day.

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