Matthew didn’t identify him – just “an angel.”
Matthew said that this angel rolled back the mill-stone door of the tomb of Jesus and was sitting on it when the two Mary’s arrived. Luke said that Joanna was there too. They came expecting to have the awful task of putting aromatic spices on a body already beginning to decay – a measure of the love that they had for this dead one.
The Roman guards that were supposed to be guarding the door of the tomb were dumbstruck by the angel’s presence. Who wouldn’t be? A giant mill stone moved about like a marble. An angel sitting on the door like he was taking a coffee break. The people who were supposed to insure against anything fishy were lying in a stupporous heap against the tomb. Continue reading →
The virtuoso caresses her violin,
And the two merge into one – flesh and spruce.
Chin hugging the wooden body,
Strings teased by flesh into singing their melodies.
No magic this violinist’s craft.
She did not wake up one morning
With Tchaikovsky flowing from her fingers.
For years she courted and romanced the music.
Continue reading →
The story is too awful to consider.
A rich man decided to call in the debts of a slave who was so buried by them he couldn’t pay them back in even 10 lifetimes. Yet in a twisted sense of justice the master says, “Pay your bills or else.”
“Or else I will sell you, your wife, your little children and all of your possessions in order to recover some of what you owe me.” Presumably this would be the end of their life as a family, and the slave could only imagine what terrible things were in store for his pathetic little family. Continue reading →
Our free society provides for equal access to trial by jury for every citizen of our country. It’s one of the ways we preserve individual freedoms and insure that a dictatorial, arbitrary form of government does not take over.
Courts are anal about assembling juries that are as fair as possible. Potential jurors are asked various iterations of “Do you think you can render an objective verdict?” The ones that say “no” or that the court perceives to have too many external, prejudicial influences are excused. Continue reading →
Wrestling with God
Began in my maturity
When knees and hands all arthritic
Beg me not to engage in such sport.
As a young man it did not
Occur to me that wrestling
Was permitted against a foe like God
Who could toss me around like a rag doll. Continue reading →
Shakespeare said it. “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.” (From Venus and Adonis.)
So did Jesus. “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ (Matthew 16:2,3) Continue reading →
If human beings ever had a reason to feel pessimistic, it was during the time of Isaiah the prophet in the 8th century BC. The world was in political turmoil.
The nation of Assyria was ascending in power and gobbling up vast amounts of land. Israel and Judah had experienced the violence of Assyria when the Assyrian army swooped down in military soirees, totally destroying the northern part of Israel and also punishing the southern part. Countries surrounding Israel were trying unsuccessfully to create political alliances to withstand Assyria’s gathering power. Continue reading →