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Archive for May, 2008

It is a good day in Jerusalem when the priests cannot stand. It means that Yahweh has appeared in force.

If any biblical text places supreme confidence in the potency of organized worship, it is the twin books of Chronicles. The microscopic detail of this  book’s passion for genealogical and cultic order is fascinating for those whose temperament aligns with its idiosyncrasy, offputting for others. (more…)

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swallows!

Twenty years ago, one of the early-evening joys of coming home to our little house on the southeast side of San José, Costa Rica, with the coffee fields gracing the hills across the river like tightly-braided hair on a handsome head, were the swallows.

Something about that cool, clear hour of the day brought them into close-order, cartwheeling, exuberant view as they plucked insects from the air and entertained my admiring eyes.

I have always missed the swallows. (more…)

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Yahweh’s promises to David are so lavish that they often accrue the adjective ‘unconditional’. Declared primarily in the Bible’s two great histories of Israel (Deuteronomy-2 Kings and Chronicles-Nehemiah) and then reflected upon in the Psalms and Prophets, Yahweh commits himself to David’s ‘house’ in seemingly open-ended manner. (more…)

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My early mornings and occasional other moments in our family’s life on Indianapolis’ north side have been punctuated for about a year by noisy chewing. Apparently, this toothy romp takes place in crawl spaces and attics.

Squirrels have been the main suspects, so I’ve been consulting the half-hopeless writings of blogs and web pages where strategies against these relentless foes are mounted, critiqued, and abandoned. (more…)

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new(ish) visitors

This Memorial Day weekend has provided the time and energy for a major restock of my bird supplies.

The result has been some new visitors:

A Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker has made brief, resplendent visits for seed and peanuts. He’s stayed long enough for this novice birdwatcher to mark the distinction between him and his suspected alternative identity, the Redheaded Woodpecker. (more…)

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Though the Johannine Jesus’ response to news of Lazarus’ illness suggests a startling conflict of emotions, the equanimity of his conversation with Martha and Mary hews to a more placid line. I find the whole picture anything but posed and ungenuine. If Jesus is the person the Fourth Gospel has been suggesting, one might almost anticipate such experience and behavior in the context of the sickness and death of ‘the one whom (Jesus) loves’.

Deep friendship is the backdrop of this story. Those who have known this gift understand something of its potency, something of the forcefulness one confronts when its riches have been invaded by the contrary force of death. (more…)

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The Books of Chronicles are most like the Psalms in their focus upon Israel realizing her destiny in the context of worship. It would be easy to push this observation to reductionistic ends. The topic of worship seems almost to shove people rudely against that wall, often with their lustiest cooperation. This oversimplification and the obsession that ensues is perhaps testimony to the power of the worship idea that inadvertently fuels such passion. (more…)

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