Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his soj
ourn in Northern Ireland'

A video walk around the neighborhood:
Crumlin, Woodvale, and Shankill Roads

Jon Kennedy  

JONAL ENTRY 1285 | April 25 2013

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here am I." Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes."

— from Genesis 46,
from today's lenten Orthodox
lectionary readings

Diary: Here it is Thursday and my diary catch up is just catching up with last Saturday. That day began as a real change in the climate, to a much more springlike day than any before, so I went out on my first "voluntary" (over against necessary ventures to shop or get to church services) walk around the neighborhood to take in some of the sights close up, and record some thoughts. I begin the video by saying that I probably wouldn't be saying much once I was out and about, but again I lied...well, see for yourself. This video is an approximate 12-minute survey of Crumlin Road, Woodvale Road, and Shankill Road, with special attention to the former linen factories and the Shankill ("Old Church") cemetery, one of Belfast's most venerable historic sites.

Click the > on the video to launch. After the video launches, you can double-click the screen to enlarge it to full-screen. If your browser cannot open the video in Windows Media format, you can try it on YouTube, here.

Scripture: I remember reading some years ago an economic conservative's thoughts on Old Testament Israel's journey to Egypt under Joseph's leadership as an analogy to modern people's letting themselves be taken care of by a big, powerful, and beneficent government. Egypt was the biggest government at that time, and Israel allowed Egypt to take care of them. But obviously, as we know from the words of Joseph about God's using Egypt, and His using Joseph's own relationship with God which enabled him to save Egypt from famine and through Egypt, its neighbors like the fledgling nation of Israel, that this journey was a definite part of God's plan for them.

As I've been making my way through this story as part of my lenten journey, I wondered if anyone in that generation had misgivings about allowing themselves be "helped" by Egypt and thus, as always follows, to allow themselves to become beholden to Egypt. Anyone who's seen any of the several Ten Commandments movies knows that even if Jacob (also called Israel) was doing right by accepting his son Joseph's invitation, eventually his children and their millions of descendents would become Egypt's slaves. But this passage answers my question. Jacob did fear Egypt's show of generosity, but he feared God even more, and when God told him to lay aside his fears and go, Jacob and all of his extended family of that generation, got up and went.

§     §     §

You can check out my overview of my venture in Northern Ireland, check here. My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 07772197118.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


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If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in the State of the Union speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven.

— Will Rogers


. . . if the world becomes more actively anti-Christian, it becomes necessary for the Christian community, in important aspects of its practical everyday life, to separate itself more from the world.

— James Kalb

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