Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another final project

Here's a small portion of my Greek final, the so-called twleve year old version. We have an actual child in our class who we present our translatiosn to. First we translate the passage then reword it so it can be understood by a young person. Here's my version of 2nd and 3rd John:

2nd John:

From your old teacher,
To the special Lady and her members: Am I alone in loving and acting on the Truth? I’m not, because everybody knows what truth is, because truth is inside of us and always will be. Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God and his Son, Jesus Christ.
I was so happy to hear that the members of the church are on their best behavior and acting like they were taught to by the father. I’m writing, not about something new, but about love, and you all have loved each other from the start. Love is living your life in line with the teachings of the father, which you have always done, and lived your whole life that way. But there are some out there who lie about Jesus. These liars say that Jesus didn’t really live on Earth! Be careful, don’t mess up what we’ve done together, let’s finish our work and get paid. Whoever lies about Christ doesn’t know God, but whoever tells the truth about Christ has the Father and the Son. If somebody comes to you and is lying about Jesus, don’t invite them into the church or say, “Have a good day!” Even if somebody says, “Have a good day,” they help the liar.
Even though, I’ve got so much to write to you, I’d rather come out and see you all and talk face to face, that will be awesome!
Goodbye to my friends and the Lady, the special one.

3rd John:

The Old Teacher to Gaius, my best friend, whom I love,
Friend, I wish you the best in everything! I was so happy to hear from everybody about what a great guy you are. It makes me so happy to hear that my old friends are doing like they should. My friend, you take care of our friends and strangers, who all say, in front of the whole church, that you took good care of them before sending them off, and they didn’t need anything from anyone! We owe these guys a lot, because they love God, just like we do.
I’ve already written to you, but “Mr. Bossy,” Diotrephes, didn’t let us in. Because he’s such a jerk, I’m going to have to come over there and I will talk about his bad behavior: he says bad things, gossips about us, and that’s not enough for him. No, he doesn’t let our friends in the church, and the ones who want to join, he kicks out! My friend, do not be a copy-cat to bad behavior, but copy good behavior. When somebody is good, it comes from God, when they are bad, they don’t even know what God is!
Demetrius on the other hand, he’s just as good as you, Gaius! Everybody talks about how good he is; you’ve seen it.
I have so much to say to you, but I don’t want to with pen and paper. I will see you very soon and we’ll talk, face to face. Hope all is well, say, “Hello!” for me to everybody personally for me.

Project central

I've been doing lots of final projects. Here is part of my presentation on Tobit. My group decided to do a presentation on the apocrypha, because we get nothing on it here. Tobit is an awesome book, and I hope my little character sketches will inspire you to read this hilarious and inspiring book.

Introducing Tobit
Five of the many unusual characters from the book of Tobit.

Shalom! I am Tobit, I have walked in righteousness all the days of my life. Even when my kindred and I were taken captive into Assyria, and all my people sacrificed to calves, I kept the law completely. No orphan, widow, or stranger ever went hungry in my sight. When the Assyrian king began killing my kinsmen and leaving them outside as examples, I buried my brothers in violation of the king’s law, under the cover of night, I was a vigilante for the Lord! One night I slept and the sparrows also slept, but their fresh droppings fell into my eyes and I was blinded. I prayed for God to end my life. I sent my son Tobias to my cousin to retrieve money I had left, when he returned I was healed through magic and I met an angel. Blessed be the God who lives forever!

Hello, I am Tobias son of Tobit. I went on an adventure with a kinsman, Azariah, to retrieve money for my father, my dog came along too. On my adventure I was bitten by a fish, which I hauled right out of the Tigris! Azariah taught me how to use the fish’s organs for magic. While getting the money for my dad, I found my true love, a fully lawful marriage too! I used the magic Azariah taught me to free my wife from a demon and heal my father’s blindness, also, I met an angel!

I used to be unlucky in love. My first seven husbands all died on our wedding night. The source of my bad luck was Asmodeus, the demon. I prayed that God would take my life so I would no longer disgrace my father. But along came Tobias, whom I loved at first sight. He did a strange thing: Tobias, on our wedding night, cooked fish liver and heart in our room, it stank to high heaven. After that though everything was peachy, Tobias even survived our wedding night!

I am Raguel, Tobit’s cousin. I held money in trust for Tobit which his son Tobias retrieved. Tobias married my daughter Sarah. I’ll admit I was worried he’d be yet another dead husband. I even had my servants dig his grave after the wedding. When I sent my wife to check on them, the boy still breathed! I had those servants fill in the grave, maybe this one will take?

I am the archangel Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord. I carry your prayers directly to the Holy One, I carried Sarah’s and Tobit’s prayers to the Almighty. God sent me to restore faithful Tobit’s family. I disguised myself as Azariah and led Tobias on adventures and taught him some tricks with fish organs; which drove Asmodeus the demon to Egypt, I caught up with him and bound him there. When I finally disclosed that I was an angel I said, “Do not be afraid; peace be with you. Bless God forevermore.” That’s good advice, take it from me, I’m an angel.

Senior Sunday

This past Sunday was Senoir Sunday at All Saints' Chapel. It was a time to recognize the seniors who have contributed to the worship life at Sewanee, both undergrad and seminary seniors were recognized. In conjunction with Senior Sunday is Senior Prank Day: a time for seniors to mess with the liturgy. It was all in good fun and I think it shows how much they love and are comfortable in church, here are some highlights.
1.) Moving the row of seats for the priests and chalice bearers (me) to the very edge of the platform. We had to move them back during the first hymn.
2.)(My favorite prank of the day) The seniors have kindly placed a copy of Dianetics in the priest's chair, nothing like the bible of Scientology to brighten a christian priest's day.
3.)Placing limeade in the priests' glasses.
4.) Leaving a plateful of a hardy breakfast in the preacher's nest.
5.)Screaming AMEN! every time the congregation said amen.
6.)Recessing during the final hymn with a hymnal in each hand.

It was fun to watch and be a part of, it sure kept me on my toes, and to expect the unexpected, a too often forgotten sentiment in the church.

Friday, April 24, 2009

La Fabuleaux Destin de Amelie Poulin

One great thing about living on the mountain is the cultural opportunities. Usually we miss alot of them, but last night I couldn't resist. The single screen movie theater was playing one of my favorite movies: Amelie. I have a copy, if anybody wants to borrow it. This movie is utterly magical and life affirming. Here's a clip: Amelie has found, buried in her apartment wall, toys of a former resident, and has found him...his reaction at :56 withers me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Colbert vs. Ehrman

Here's Bart Ehrman, scholar, with no sense of humor. I also think that Ehrman only goes so far in his thoughts, most of what he says is true, but he doesn't try to explain himself in light of Jewish or church tradition. One thinks he might have an agenda...nah!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birth of a Sacrament

Britt and I had the honor to do the eucharistic bread for the Maundy Thursday Service and the Easter Vigil. A sacrament is simply defined as a synthesis of matter and spirit. In my opinion this definition can be problematic in that it hints at a division of spirit and matter: dualism. But the sacrament shows how reality really really is. John's Revelation most boldly shows this as the new heaven and the new earth joining, with heaven descending to earth, not the other way around. The eucharistic bread is just that: bread. It is not wheat, or olives, or any other naturally occuring thing. Bread is made, through the skill, knowledge, and technique of people. Same with wine. We, our best and worsst, are tied intimately in the sacrament. It would not be a sacrament without us.