Thursday, July 29, 2004

Powerful stories that make you curious for something more

Has anyone ever read anything on the interaction between Zachariah, Elizabeth, Mary in Luke 1? Guess I could ask Thom Lemmons if he's ever written this into an episode in a novel, but I'm curious how these conversations would have taken place.

Does Elizabeth burst into song like a musical or is this the writing style of the gospel to add together this traditional song that was attributed to her?

It's a powerful story. If you are preaching or teaching this passage, you might be interested to hear and use in your church Randy Gill's version of the Magnificant, Mary's song (Lk 1:46-55). Write me for his address if interested.

What kind of incense was Zachariah going in to burn? Was it the incense of Exodus 30:1-10, 34-38? That formula, says the Lord, was only for him--they were not to use it in their houses. It was a combination of gum resin, onycha (what's that?), galbanum--and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts. This was the work of a perfumer and the fragrance was another pleasing aroma to the Lord along with burnt offerings.

***

Last night I told my children the story of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11). As I mentioned yesterday, I'm trying to keep the power and suspense in the Bible story that already exists in the text that we often remove when we pass it on to children in bland ways. So, I told them the story of humankind's pride in building the biggest tower ever to the heavens. We'd been up the St. Louis Gateway Arch a few weeks ago, so the building of that (from the movie they showed us) is fresh on their minds.

I stopped the story at the point where they'd built it high and were praising themselves, but then something terrible happened. God came down to see their progress and did something that has forever changed our world...and I'll tell you tomorrow what...

They wanted to know. My oldest did but didn't tell. They'll ask about tomorrow night for sure.

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