Paul and the Snake, Achille Scaccioni Acts 28:1 – 6
Acts 28:1 – 6
Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and , as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murdered; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall over dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
The other day, I was looking for something on-line. I Googled “Star Wars” and up came the Lego’s Star Wars Advent Calendar, on Amazon.com for $39.99. Hmmm. I checked with a 10 year-old boy whom I know is into Star Wars. Yes, he has had one of these for the past several years. He brought in various Lego figures that come with the each day of the Advent Calendar. Hmmmm. I had a little cognitive dissonance with the Darth Vader Santa. No baby Jesus or donkeys in this Advent Calendar.
If you are looking for a little more Christ in your Christmas, check into the BBC Music Cathedral Advent Calendar on their website. Each day you can view a cathedral and link to a Christmas carol sung in that cathedral.
Otherwise, wait to see if Anakin Skywalker pops up in the manger this year.
Classics. We know those well-loved story lines: the star-cross lovers, Romeo & Juliet; the romantic out-cast, Cyrano; the hero-king Arthur, and his knights; the separated-at-birth twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker… and, the obsessive revenge of Captain Ahab against the White-Whale, Moby Dick. When we read that Arena Stage would produce a stage version of Herman Melville’s classic 19th century whaling story, I thought that I might want to read the book first. I could not image how they would present a whale on stage, nor the language of Melville. Continue reading
Shipwreck on Malta, Achille Scaccioni Acts 27:27 – 44
Acts 27:27 – 44
On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”
Why do we tell a story, when we know the end will be sad? Fate? The blues? Catharsis? Hope?
Thirty-five years ago, I came across a copy of Will and Ariel Durant’s eleven volume text, The Story of Civilization, in a used bookstore in Seattle, Washington. At that point in my zealous youth I did not have the $95 to purchase it. I have seen only one full collection since, on a friend’s bookshelf. But, I thought it would be rude to request that he put it in his will for me, then die, so that I could read the books. In one weekend, I came across the third set in my lifetime, had $75 to purchase it, and saw Carousel at Arena Stage and Henry VI, Part 2 at the Blackfriar Theatre the next day. Fate? Continue reading
Paul Before Felix, Bomenico Bartolini Acts 23: 23 – 35
Acts 23:23 – 35
Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. Provide mounts for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Govenor Felix.”
He wrote a letter as follows:
On the right, this year’s hills. On the left, next year’s hills
Growing one’s own food is a continual process. Certainly, the season regulate what types of gardening activity one participates in. But, so does learning and experimentation. We started our gardens with pick-axes and shovels nearly 20 years ago. We have been adding organic matter to the Appalachian shale-clay soil every year since. We have tried double-digging, layering (“lasagna gardening”), hay-bale beds, and now have come across hugelkultur (German word for “hill horticulture”). Gardening is a slippery-slop to more eccentric behavior. Continue reading