‘Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land…’ The people who returned from captivity read out aloud how God looked after the Jewish people throughout history. The high point is the liberation from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea…
We need to learn to identify with this ‘biblical Jewry’ or ‘Jewry of salvation history’. By this we identify with God’s will on the possible deepest level. Acquiring a biblical identity, for us Christians, is the strongest form of resisting the fragmenting forces of history and its present dominant form, consumerism.
Saint Paul takes this identification with God’s will - his love and will present in ‘in the Jewry of salvation history’- further. It is the believer who becomes God’s sacrifice. Identifying oneself with God’s (Christ’s) sacrifice (it is also the continuation of the Temple tradition!) is the deepest biblical and spiritual communion with God. ‘I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but ye transformed to renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..