What’s in the Supply Closet [part 1 of 2]

2010 March 30

Filed in:

Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time (Sacraments)

In a short conversation tonight with good family friends, the question was considered, what’s a Christian to do with Santa and the Easter Bunny?  What about various kinds of celebrations of Easter and of Christmas.   I suggest the answer lies in the question, “What supplies are in God’s party closet?”

When I was about 23, I remember having a strong opposition to any celebration that I couldn’t find in scripture, thinking it made legalism and promoted works-salvation.  The Bible didn’t say to celebrate Easter!  By making people dress specially, and feel like it was a more special Sunday weren’t we making people feel bound where scripture left us free?  Well, I don’t actually remember anyone binding my conscience on Easter, but the thought pattern in which I was trained was ready to see legalism behind any practical work done FOR God.

I believe the answer I have come to now has to do with answering what is lawful and how God likes to party.  The main thing I am attacking first is Christmas without presents.  May we give presents at Christmas?

I will write tomorrow or soon on what I think is the answer, but I put forth Deuteronomy 14.22-28 as a text to answer my question, and request your comments (From Biblegateway: )


22 “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there,25then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses 26and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.

28 “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns.


Peter Leithart

2010 March 22

is alright by me.

I like quirky stat numbers

2010 March 13

good and pleasant

And after that post on Psalm 132.

As if on cue…my stats are at 133.1

“Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.”

That is one of my favorite of all Psalms.

The Bread King Sat on His Holy Hill – John 6, Ps 132

2010 March 12

Filed in:

Do You Hear what I Hear? (Psalms)

The Feeding of the Five Thousand in John 6 is, in part, formed by emphases from the Psalms of Ascent, especially Ps 132, where the Messiah is the Bread King of giving to the poor.

I contend that the Psalms of Ascent were indeed used at times of pilgrimage to festival.  People give different explanations for their use, but one of the major views says that they were used on the way to the three annual festivals.

John’s gospel gives further reason to believe this, through two clues, the Lifting of Eyes, and the Bread King.

Looking Up

One thing characteristic of the Ascent is the lifting of eyes.

If these are pilgrim travelling songs for the ascent into the hills toward Zion, it would make sense that they should be lifting their eyes as they go up to Gods’ high place.

But only three places in all the Psalms talk of lifting eyes:

  • PS 121.1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
  • PS 123.1 To you I lift up my eyes,  O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
  • PS 131.1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me

These are all Psalms of Ascent.

In John 6.4-5, we hear:

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said…

Jesus lifts his eyes, and sees the crowd.  They are following him because he does famous miracles.  But there are so many present, precisely because it is the season for pilgrimage.  And if these pilgrims are singing, then the Psalms of Ascent would be what is on their minds and is in their hearts.

Maybe they had heard Ps 132 right before they got to the blessing of bread from David’s son.

The Bread King:

Ps 132, a Psalm of Ascent, talks about the blessing that will come from the coming king, the Christ, (anointed one) who will rise up from David’s  line of sons.  He will give bread to the poor.  David was the one who brought the ark home, he found it in a field, and returned it to its resting place.  David was seated there on his throne, the ark is the footstool of God’s throne.  Here’s the Psalm with keys underlined, and then look at the explanation of John 6 after:

1Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor,
all the hardships he endured,
2how he swore to the LORD
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3“I will not enter my house
or get into my bed,
4I will not give sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5until I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the fields of Jaar.
7“Let us go to his dwelling place;
let us worship at his footstool!”

8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
9Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
10For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath
from which he will not turn back:
One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne
12If your sons keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
their sons also forever
shall sit on your throne

13For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14This is my resting place forever;
here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15I will abundantly bless her provisions;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
and her saints will shout for joy.
17There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but on him his crown will shine.”

John 6.2-15, the Feeding of the Five Thousand is end capped by Jesus, the son of David “sitting on a mountain” (vv.3, 15)

He and the people sit (vv. 3, 10 twice, 11), and they come to a resting place in a field full of grass (v.10),

Because he gives them bread, they want to make him king (v.15).

Since so much of the Ascending Psalms are used for this event AT passover time, we may assume, the Psalms of Ascent were indeed part of the backdrop of Passover celebration.

Satire Video: On the Psalms

2010 March 6

Filed in:

Calm Down! (I’m Kidding.)

Seymour Deeds brings you bad bible readings through decontextualized fragments expounded in whatever way he wishes.

Achan for a Breakin’!

2010 March 5

Filed in:

The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

I have been implying that Jesus’ parable of the minas is a picture taken out of the allotment of cities in Joshua 10-21.

What is a mina/minah?

According to Wikipedia, here a mina is a measure of weight equal to 50 shekels.

I don’t know if I had noticed it already, but today I noticed that the mina in Luke 19.20  was one “which I kept laid away in a handkerchief.”

A 50 shekel weight wrapped in a cloth…

So back to Joshua 7.

And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did:21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.

See the old info leading up to this new find….

Three Videos

2010 March 4

Filed in:

Calm Down! (I’m Kidding.)


These are the latest three satire videos.  One features creative dance expressions, one has secret bible-coding, and the last has frustration over the lack of truly righteous people in the Bible.