Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

 Opus 2022-339: Pageant Discrepancies

Why do we have different messages at different places in the Bible?  Compare the gospel of Mark with John.  Why do we have different vocabulary, different details and even different parables?  The differences have to do with the personalities of the human writers and the target audience.  Need an illustration on how this works?

Consider the traditional Christmas program and the people involved.  I know that a lot of churches have abandoned this but the Christmas Pageant used to be an annual event that brought the church together and got everyone involved.  And of course like anything involving people it led to arguments about things like “Who gets to play Mary?”  Or in a fertile church, “Whose baby gets to be Jesus?”

Good times.

In case you never were blessed by this experience lets start with the cast of characters.  They tended to be age appropriate roles.  

The toddlers are dressed up as sheep.  Being in the “Squirrel” stage they need to have an older group leading them around and trying to keep them from straying off into the choir loft or running to see grandma.  That is where the 5th graders who play shepherds come in.  Three slightly older kids might get to be wise men.  

The teens will usually supply a Mary and Joseph.  

Everyone is frantically going through the closets for bath robes and dish towels.  Mom’s jewelry might decorate the heads of the wise men.

There might be speaking parts.  You could have kids moving props.  There might be a choir.

Then you have the one in the sound booth.

Now add the parents.  

What does this have to do with the authorship of the Gospels?  Imagine you got to read the mail of everyone involved.  All of them are describing the same event.  All of them are “accurate”.  All of them are different.  To get the whole story you need to consider what each brings to the report.  To even begin to get a feel for what happened you would need to read them all and do a lot of discerning.  

Or get the video, but in Jesus day they didn’t have that technology.  One of the angels may have had a camera but he is not sharing.

So start reading and learning.  What a great time to start.  Might I suggest the Christmas story?

Merry Christmas.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.