My parents were married fifty years ago in September. Connie and I planned a big bash for them, invited lots of old friends, family members, and colleagues. It was going to be a blast. Then Mom decided it would be more fun to get pneumonia, so we had to reschedule the festivities.?Ç¬†I’m happy to announce that, as if this posting, we are celebrating their?Ç¬†special day–again! :-)?Ç¬†
My folks taught me about a healthy marriage life,?Ç¬†always doing my best, the importance of church and faith, and how to be a halfway decent parent. They were my first Bible teachers; they continue to be?Ç¬†my?Ç¬†loudest cheering section.
Tonight, we’re partying with kinfolk, former students (they both taught high school before they retired) and co-workers, and?Ç¬†about a kazillion?Ç¬†church folks. And the best part is, this time we’re not trying to keep it a secret!
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all you mean to me and to many, many others!
Daniel Pulliam of GetReligion points to a neat L.A. Times article by Stephanie Simon on biblical foods and eating: “Scripture by the Plateful.” The article is about a new book by Rayner Hesse and Anthony Chiffolo called Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore. It sounds like something right up my alley! Here is the quote that got my attention:
As he read through the Bible looking for mentions of food, Hesse realized that hospitality ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù specifically, generosity with meals ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù was considered a sign of righteousness across the ages, starting with the freshly slaughtered calf that Abraham and Sarah served three visiting angels in the Book of Genesis.Food is so central to biblical relationships that when Christ reveals himself after the Resurrection, his disciples recognize him only in the context of a meal. At one point, Jesus walks beside them for hours, but they do not know him until he sits down to break bread. In another account, Jesus hails the disciples by the Sea of Galilee; again they do not recognize him ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù until he catches a bounty of fish for breakfast.
?¢‚Ç¨?ìI don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t think I ever understood until I did this research how central the meal is to Christianity, and how that tradition goes all the way back to Abraham,?¢‚Ç¨¬ù Hesse said.
As if there weren’t enough things already on which I could spend my Christmas money….
The Lutheran Zephyr has posted a review/reflection of Amy-Jill Levine’s piece in the Christian Century about Jesus’–and Christianity’s–Jewish roots. Then Derek the ?É‚Ä†nglican posted his thoughts about Lutheran Zephyr’s thoughts.
Fear not: I won’t be posting my thoughts on Derek’s thoughts on LZ’s thoughts. But I will point you to these fine articles that wrestle with the relationship between history, tradition, and the biblical text. I appreciate the necessity for grounding Jesus in his Jewish milieu. One of the struggles of preaching and teaching the New Testament is that a lot of folks approach Christianity with a quasi-Marcionite stance that sees in Judaism only negative stereotypes. Biblical scholars have largely gotten past that phase, but sadly it is still rampant in the pews. One of my major goals when I teach New Testament intro is to get students to appreciate the Jewishness of first-century Christianity. Some get the point; others don’t. Those of us who know that this is the direction scholarship has been heading for the past thirty years need to be especially diligent in making sure this information gets a wider dissemination.
At the same time, I’m with both LZ and Derek in insisting that we can’t leave Jesus bound to his Jewish roots. This is especially so for those of us who worship him as the eternal Son of God. Derek proposes that driving that kind of wedge between the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith is to embrace a fundamentally Nestorian attitude.
It’s all good, meaty stuff. Probably too meaty for a holiday weekend, but what the heck? Enjoy!
Update: Welcome, Theolog readers! I hope you’ll take the time to read my comments elsewhere about not leaving Jesus bound to his Jewish roots in their proper context here?¢‚Ç¨‚Äùfollowing a brief but I think rather passionate defense of the Jewishness of the historical Jesus. I still think, however, that God by definition transcends the historical accidents of his incarnation, no matter how divinely favored those accidents undoubtedly were.