I chose keep for 2023 largely because it was all over the Psalms, particularly my reading of Psalm 119. It’s over and over and over again.
Keep your law, keep your testimonies, keep statutes, keep my way … 27! Twenty Seven times in Psalm 119 we are told to keep … something.
But, even already, in my ongoing scripture reading “keeping” is not that limited. It’s subtle and has many facets – and I’m not even always the one entreated to “keep.”
Psalm 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of your eye.”
I recently learned that the apple of the eye is the most delicate part of the eye. It’s not the object the eye has in sight, but that we are asking God to guard and protect us like the most sensitive, easiest to damage part of the eye. Wouldn’t we all go a long way to keep our sight? To protect our vision? We want God to keep us like He protects that.
So, keeping is more than holding and retaining. Keeping is more than guarding and protecting. You all know I like my verb forms, but the keep of a castle is the the most protected, secure place. Keeping involves tending. regard. practice. careful copying (!!). The 1828 Webster’s has 6 pages of definitions and examples of keep – and that doesn’t include derivatives like keeper, keepsake, etc.
Nor does it include the differing senses that prepositions give the idea of “keep” that the online etymological dictionary details.
So, keep seems like a little Word for the Year, but I’m already getting overwhelmed and excited by its magnitude and variety for study.