These are the words to the dramatic opening of the letter to the Hebrews, words that invoke the drama of creation, the drama of worlds, the drama of the relationship between God and humanity, the sort of “once upon a time” that indices a hush in the listener. Because whether fantasy or history, it means something significant will soon follow. And in this case, it is beautiful, this pilgrimage from the garden of Eden through the wilderness into the hills of Midian on into Canaan.
We encounter the great High Priest Melchizedek, and this is a huge for the rest exposition because the original audience knows priests the way we know the great artists and teachers who shape our lives.
Jesus is radically framed, not as Messiah but as High Priest, the constant, present curator of the New Covenant, one who will remain as the priest of good things because he was the one who was there from the beginning from long ago.
- What does the phrase “long ago” lead you to think or feel?
- Who are the great artists and teachers who have shaped your life?