To Cleave or To Cleave?
The Primates' Meeting in Tanzania
Fulcrum Newsletter, February 2007
by Graham Kingsvicar of St Mary Islington and theological secretary of Fulcrum
Dear Fulcrum Friends,
The traditional English word 'cleave' has two meanings, which are the exact opposite of each other: 'to stick together' and 'to split'. Both are used in the King James Version of the Bible in well known passages in the book of Genesis, which have resounded for centuries.
'Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh' (Hebrew dabaq, Genesis 2:24) and 'Abraham...clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.' (Hebrew baqa, Genesis 22:3).
Both meanings are poignant this coming week as the Primates of the Anglican Communion go to the place of their meeting - with each other and with God - near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The context is tense and the discussions intense. Rhetoric from 'left' and 'right' has been ratcheted up, emails have been leaked and reporters will gather and circle. Key decisions are going to be made: there is now no deferring or referring. In the midst of all of this, and surrounding it, has to be prayer. the rest