Saturday, December 31, 2016

Should auld


New Year’s Eve that began beautifully with orange streaks among ominous clouds, slowly shading to pink and grey, now is silver bright across StAndrewsBay this Saturday morning. It’s our day for folks to reminisce about their passing year. National happenings, international events, news reports, bad news and good. For each of us the real news is personal, happy family events, trips, visits, weddings, births, some intensely searing losses from which one never recovers, all of it 2016. 

At the moment I’m looking across Shell Island into the Gulf of Mexico, a peaceful NYE in mind. We bought tickets to the ball benefitting Anchorage Children’s Home, but if we went, we’d never stay awake halfway to midnight, and New Years Day would see FB shots of some old man with his white head lying face-down asleep in his supper. At the moment my notion of New Year’s Eve celebration might be a Stella and small thin crust double-anchovies pizza down the street at Enzo’s. Or perched on a stool at Gene’s, knees wedged against the bar, slurping up cold salty ones. And, tied up here at pier side, 7H beats any cruise ship and every warship. 

Where can the mind go, the memories wander. Far and wide, and to snow and icy places. 

Not my intent to be up to ring in at 12, so how shall I ring out at 8? Australian cab and a burger, red rare with a crunchy slice of onion, mayo and dab of mustard? 

And what about tomorrows? Bring 'em on.

DThos+ crossing +Time+ 




Friday, December 30, 2016

Aaronic

oh-four-fifty-six and in two hours I should be standing by the rising Holy Pavilion waiting for Robert to arrive for our walk. Usually on Friday we walk then have breakfast at one of several favorites, two mainly: Bayou Joe’s on Massalina Bayou watching traffic cross Tarpon Dock Bridge on their way to work, yuk yuk we're retired. Big Mama’s on the Bayou watching mullet jump and birds fish on Johnson Bayou: when the weather’s nice we sit outside on the back porch closer to the action. Eggs over medium, Big Mama’s has good better best cheese grits, thick and slightly sharp cheese.

43°F 48% sunrise 0638, wind 5 mph, zero precip, windchill 38.

Linda’s car’s recently been serviced; mine should go soon, an SRX V8 that scampers like a scared rabbit and taking care of it I hope lasts my lifetime. Bought it this year, ten years old 55k miles. Keep an eye on Cramer’s used car lot online or they sneak the best stuff past me. I don’t know how many hours this car had been listed, but I spoke for it by email before eyeballing it, otherwise it’d have been gone. Third one I’ve had just like this, same metallic silver, two V6, one had three rows of seats, now this V8 and so far my all time favorite cars. 


Second, the new red Tahoe years ago, except the Tahoe swayed driving up and down the winding mountain to Highlands. I think GM has since corrected that. But to meander on, safety minded, in life I’m beyond climbing up into a vehicle and climbing down out of it. 

At any event, another lesson for Sunday,

Numbers 6:22-27 (KJV)

 … the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

Go Blue.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

called

It was a long time ago and this is my memory, what I recall. Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, all of us barely out of our teens together, romance of the age, of the ages. That’s what always comes to mind for me.


Eddie was a fool: remember all that? I do. What a stunning disappointment. But this morning it’s all over.

Interesting sun fiddling with clouds and condos about sunset last evening


and again this morning, no fog but early drizzle, promise of rain, pills, lemon water, black and dark, walk

now on 7H porch, 71.8° 81% hat on, hat with bill because the sun is having the victory and not only the bright yellow disc but its glare on the Bay in my eyes. 

What’s online for Sunday, January 1, Holy Name of Jesus/Mary, Mother of God:

Luke 2:15-21
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

2121 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb..

Seems to sort of finish up the Christmas Story, doesn’t it — wie heissen sie, how are you called, wie heißt du, what is your name — and why? From Bethlehem and the manger, ich heisse Jesus, as the angel commanded, why? because God saves: what and why. 

Bubba. Carroll. Tom. Ensign, Commander, Father. Honey, Dad, Granddaddy, Papa. My grandmother Gentry had too many grandsons to keep our names straight, so addressing one of us she shouted a litany, “Wilbur, Walt, Bill, Bubba, Thing.” Growing up around her, I was as accustomed to being called Thing as anyThing else. Not my name, but how I was called. There's a difference.

Bubba as brother first and oldest. Carroll for reasons told here before, escaping on my 18th birthday thanks to UFla computerized rosters: 

“Thomas Weller?” 

“Here!” and I was saved.

What would I change? 
What’s the point, what would be the point? Here am I. 

DThos+




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

to lighten up!!!

Early, clock on this laptop reads Wed 3:47 AM, a moment ago I saw total whiteout at the Beck window and confirmed sitting here at my 7H living room window on the Bay, so another seasonal fog whiteout. Monday the fog did not lift until late morning. Winter fog deserves to be complemented with a chill in the air, but I’ve not been out on the porch because Linda is asleep in the Bay bedroom and the curtain drawn for darkness, and in this room without a light it’d be necessary to slip by the Christmas tree to get to the door, incurring a chance of either pulling the tree down or tripping and falling. 64°F says weather.com, high today 74° and 80% chance of rain tonight. But for now, it's that fogged in I can’t see even one red or green navigation light on the Bay.

Coffee black but temporarily no dark choc by this chair. 

What’s on mind is Luke’s annunciation and nativity scene and things I’ve learned about from reading and from other people whom I respect. Couple of verses. 

One being Luke 2:7, “and she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the καταλύματι  - - noun, dative, neuter, singular, 1 occurrence, of κατάλυμά  - - noun, nominative, neuter, singular, 2 occurrences, Mark 14:14, Luke 22:11 - - , “guest room” but which at Luke 2:7 has been rendered “inn” and given us the Christmas vision of the holy family in a stable perhaps out back, into which we’ve stirred the magi from Matthew’s nativity narrative. It makes for the “third gospel” compact, unified creche that we love, but that the photographer for the Bethlehem Bulldog could not have captured to print with the front page story. The kataluma was the guest room in the upper chamber of a house where the animals couldn’t get to, the storytellers say nothing about a stable: the holy family’s accommodation would have been the ground level space where the animals were brought inside and kept for overnight safety from thieves, dogs and wolves, maybe lions. What animals? goats and sheep perhaps, maybe not bovines, IDK. Inside the house, not an outside open stable. Like so:


However, considering the likely historicity of the traditions themselves, this really is only significant for being culturally more accurate. If one prefers the creche, fine, it’s come to be our image of the storied event.

The other stories in mind are Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38. Facilitating religious doctrine and somewhat but not necessarily absolutely in contrast to apparent customs of regional culture at the time. When a couple were matched up by their families for future marriage, there might be a ceremony of betrothal. After which the woman returned to her parents’ home and the man returned to work, while, in his spare time, preparing a home for the betrothed couple to live in. Sabbaths, let us say “weekends,” he might visit his betrothed wife including conjugal relations. Perhaps in the κατάλυμά, IDK. In fact, I know nothing, I’m only passing along what I’ve read and been told about customs of the day.

The man might take weeks or months to finish preparing their new home for his wife, during which time he might often visit her on weekends, and apparently it wasn’t all that unusual for the woman to be great with child by the time their new home was ready, and they had the marriage ceremony, and he took her from her father’s house into their new home to live together. 

As I understand it, that was the way life was. Doesn’t seem all that different from life today anymore. And to me, with all due creedal devotion, seems more earthy than something about the Holy Spirit, or than sexually-obsessed nonsense about an eighty-year-old Joseph, and surely more sense than absurd literalist speculation about a passing Roman soldier. But again, with a nod to differences between Geschichte and Heilsgeschichte as an understanding of history stressing God’s saving grace.

What put me on this, the week after Christmas instead of last week when we were singing Christmas carols? First, last week was Advent, whereas we are only now in the Christmas season. Second, last week I was muttering about other stuff, including cars and such. 

Third, I’m thinking about long-term engagements. That for anyone who might want to consider it, we have a liturgy, a religious ceremony to recognize, honor and celebrate that. It is not the second part, called The Marriage. It’s the first part of the liturgy for Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, the so-called Declaration of Consent:

The Declaration of Consent
The Celebrant says to the woman
N., will you have this man to be your husband; to live 
together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, 
comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; 
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you 
both shall live?
The Woman answers
I will.

The Celebrant says to the man
N., will you have this woman to be your wife; to live 
together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, 
comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; 
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you 
both shall live?
The Man answers
I will.

The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, saying
Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your 
power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
People
We Will.

If there is to be a presentation or a giving in marriage, 
it takes place at this time. 

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may follow.

See, this can be done. It’s a proper betrothal. The Marriage may take place soon after, or long after, or never. In an ancient day and age it made everything respectable and lovingly committed in a way that today’s living together somehow does not quite.

Time!!! for the exclamation points!!! to lighten up!!!

DThos+



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

holy ground

Far as I can tell, only way 201612270500 might have been more perfect up here in 7H would've been waking to a thunderstorm raging outside. But it’s just me, I’d not wish that on anyone with outdoors hopes for 2016's final Tuesday. Warm here, 63° 95% zero precip, foggy and going to 75°

Hot honey-lemon water. Maybe resume the daily walking regimen, IDK, though it could be a good thing like 2007-8 was for me and lost 47 pounds. Monday’s walk was Places of the Heart: from the Holy Pavilion at Linda Ave and 2nd St,



north on Linda Ave, east on 2nd Ct, south on Hamilton Ave, left onto Massalina Drive and along that part of Massalina Bayou where I grew up



and Robert's green house across the bayou. Walking our first Monday in 2017 we may walk round his side of Massalina.



Round, up to where Massalina Drive begins with a Y at Linda Ave and Allen Ave,



left fork onto Linda Ave and north. Across 3rd St, cross 2nd Ct again, back along Holy Ground to my car where at HNES the Holy Pavilion progresses rapidly with my eye on and blessing upon.

Driving home along WBeachDrive, a larger ship heading toward the Port. Before elevating up to 7H, I caught her as she passed the swimming pool downstairs



So then Tuesday: walk? read. For now, dark square, cuppa black and Life Is Good. 

DThos+    

Monday, December 26, 2016

Packard, Simplex-Crane, & Honda

That’s a Simplex-Crane motorcar — a short remembrance of the cars and company history is on Wikipedia. Brief because that’s about all the Time they had. 




This black touring car with red leather seats was ordered by his son and given to senior John D Rockefeller for his 83rd birthday in 1917. Still operable, it’s a hundred years old now, which is why it’s popping up in classic car material I read.



Simplex-Crane was long gone by my Time, but another top car of the era, and of my day in my growing up years, was Packard. 1917 below, contemporary with Rockefeller's car



I've recalled here before that when the 1951 Packard was introduced, must have been autumn 1950 because that's when the new year models were introduced annually in those days, 



my father went down to the Packard dealership on Grace Avenue to see, most unusual for him, brought home a brochure, which I still have, of the beautiful new cars, and talked about buying one. Along with the 1948 Buick brochure he'd brought home a couple years earlier, two of the more exciting events of my teen years except that he bought neither the Packard nor the Buick, but a Dodge sedan and a couple years later the Plymouth station wagon that was our major ride as teenagers. Those final years of Packard saw some lovely cars through the 1956 model year 



But in the mid-1950s Studebaker bought out the failing Packard, closed the enormous Packard factory in Detroit, and for 1957 introduced a motorized grotesquerie that was a stylized Studebaker V8 with Packard label









before closing Packard altogether into automotive history.

But I began with Simplex-Crane. Most costly and built to order, those cars were for the wealthiest Americans of the age and perhaps of all time. Magnificent, but couldn’t have ridden as comfortably, or driven as beautifully, as a 2017 Honda Accord, an American car manufactured in Marysville, Ohio 



Speaking of which reminds me. I have a picture of son Joe maybe twenty years ago, standing outside the Ford dealership, must have been in Cincinnati, Ohio when he and Patty lived there and Joe was designing jet engines for GE Aviation, taking delivery of his new blue Ford F-150 pickup truck. Similarly perhaps, taking delivery of, naturally, a white one, and now making the rounds online, and to close with my devotional and a Bible verse, it is said that

Jesus drove a Honda but didn't talk about it, "for I did not speak of my own Accord." (John 12:49).



anonymous


thanks, Tassa

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas is its Eve

There is a ghost from Hell, one of the overnight bus riders in C S Lewis’ The Great Divorce, whose sole interest in heaven is taking pictures, photographing everything. I don’t have the book, chapter and page open this Christmas morning, and I forget details, but she (female ghost as I recall) didn’t wish to stay on in Heaven because all the beauty was already and always there for posterity, for eternity, and photographs were wanted nor needed; and because everything was always so magnificently perfect that there was no need to capture fleeting moments, indeed no fleeting moments to capture, all was eternal.

Tell a truth, this comes to mind every sunrise and every sunset and every gathering storm and every clearing sky and rainbow as I stand outside on our 7H porch waiting for the perfect instant, cognizant of perfection in every passing and present moment, and I can’t stand out here forever. 

Returned to mind at our 4:30 Χριστός in Xmas Eve celebration last evening as I snapped the first angels coming up the aisle then thought of that ghostly bus rider in Heaven and put my iPhone away knowing that every instant with these children in our church would surpass every instant before and after this Christmas and every Christmas Past and Christmas yet to come: I withdrew to just be there in the heavenly perfection of love that these beautiful children are, opening with Will singing, and toddlers through teens, angels, readers, donkeys, singing, shepherds, kings, a BVM in Blue, sheep, Star of Bethlehem climbing a ladder and waving his points. Camera cannot capture Heaven, because Heaven is not an instant of holding a moonbeam or a child, or even a memory or a hope, but life ongoing filled with children who are themselves, each and every one, God’s love for us.


201612241639 and moving along. Hundreds of people were there. I gave up after one photograph, but it’s still dancing in my head like visions of sugarplums. 

DThos+ in +Time+

Saturday, December 24, 2016

twins

Twins

Ah, last evening came a delightful message, long phone text from my brother, concerning our intended and upcoming visit to Louisiana, Denham Springs where they live. My brother has in his life, and shares with me, interesting stories, episodes, adventures. One I’d not heard, of years ago on travel — he traveled on business as I did years ago — by calculation, I was away from home those years, driving and flying, more than seventy-five percent of my Time — which I would never do again because it kept me away from Tass in her years from five, as she was when I retired from the Navy, until twelve, when we packed off from Harrisburg to Apalachicola for her teen years. So seven years I traveled on business, and missed so much of her growing up though I loved her so, and do love. 

The older two were grown and gone.

See, the mind wanders. Waking this morning, up to curse Father Nature then back futilely to bed, the mind was thinking that it’s its own worst and only enemy, stirring me to thoughtful wakefulness when I wanted to drowse again. So up to stay for delicious hot lemon water with honey, then black coffee and the square of dark chocolate, die wunderfullen Schokolade. Or schokolade, languages evolve: is it becoming acceptable to leave a noun uncapitalised, IDK. Gardenia computer, constantly I must put it in its place by going back and correcting its word correction to my will and not its. This MacBookPro is more arrogant and self-willed than that clergy collar button that is yet exiled in its place till I am done keeping the Χριστός in Xmas. 

But so, Walt’s stories. He generally carried a firearm, as I never did for fear of shooting my own foot, and on that occasion he was checking into a motel, took a few things in, returned to his car to discover that he was being robbed. Thief ran and Walt gave chase a couple blocks until suddenly it occurred to Walt that the robber had not only his clothes, but his pistol as well. And so he skidded, did a U-turn and returned to the motel. Best part of his story was the enormous breakfast he had next morning: huge homemade biscuits drowning in butter, thick sliced crispy bacon, buttered grits, two eggs over medium, fresh orange juice, coffee, a good memory. 

My brother and I are alike in ways that turn up to surprise me from time to time. People can't tell us apart on the phone. We have been taken for twins. He said he selected his motels, when on business travel, based on the breakfast. I also did that. Though I don’t remember where it was, I used to travel, lots of airplanes, executive waiting rooms in airports, but especially by car including across contintent and back, stories for other mornings, and I remember approximate dates by the car I was driving at the time. It would’ve been 1980, because I had a new black Cadillac Sedan Deville at the time (comfortable car except that at highway speed the vinyl top caught air under and rose up like a ridiculous bubble, not GM's finest years), and then that white 1982 Cadillac Cimarron with red leather seats. Driving my Cimarron once, Linda’s mother shifted it into park while it was still going about ten mph costing a major transmission repair. Anyway, traveling between home in Harrisburg, and Pensacola where I was teaching two graduate courses in the political science division of the University of West Florida, I always stopped overnight at a certain country motel in southern Virginia, because of the breakfast there. A long, plentiful buffet with the cook behind the line keeping everything freshly cooked and hot. I’d help myself to three or four eggs over medium and, my entire reason for being there, a couple of their huge, thin country sausage patties, straight off the grill perfectly spiced, local sausage from a farm in the area. Except for when the university would fly me down, I stopped there for the breakfast every trip the six or seven years I taught as adjunct professor, until the time I drove through and the motel was gone, torn down. Now nearly half century, but the breakfast lives on in my heart.

The other motel breakfasts that Walt’s story brings to mind this morning — for several years after my Navy retirement, the Australian Department of Defence ("c" dammit) flew me down to conduct seminars variously in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide — never went to Perth, Darwin or Tasmania. My Australian DoD buddies always put me up in motels with a genuine Ozz breakfast buffet that included all the lambchops one could eat, and I can eat a lot of lambchops. 

Those memories in mind, I cooked my own breakfast this morning: a 4-ounce boneless pork chop, seared on both sides then simmered to medium and deliciously tender. Another mug of black and one slice extra thin ww toast cut in strips to catch any yolk, and three extra large eggs from WalMart, I buy them at that back chilled bin at $1.09 for 18 eggs. Surprise, one egg had twin yolks. Over medium.



Bit chilly out here on the porch, noisily groaning dredge a couple miles away moving ever farther into the Bay channel,



breakfast here on 7H porch because for the past several days Linda has had the dining room table set for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner. Linda likes things orderly and must live in unending frustration with her unapologetically lifelong slob. My "task" this morning being to clear the sty round my chair in the livingroom. Fortunately, or blessedly depending perhaps on one’s theology, lightly misty, chill evaporating with the rising sun, and supposed to be 75°F and sunny before Santa discovers there’s no chimney here. No leaky roof either, nor burst plumbing, nor attic raccoons. But a lovely Holiday Greetings card from CritterControl. Thank you, God, and Merry Christmas, One and Three.

DThos+   

Friday, December 23, 2016

from 7H: sails in the sunset


Early, we are up and out on 7H porch early, and Friday appears a beautiful morning. Sky seems clear, black, crescent moon and two companions close by and barely out of reach, all of which confirming there’s no reality after all, only perception, perspective. Already I begin my Seventh Day, Crime and Punishment open on this laptop, Feodor, I'm only in Part I, Chapter 2 of Parts 12, and already recognize the Holy Fool, Sonia, by her drunkard father's description: Sonia with the yellow ticket. Already been set up for the crime, murder, of the victim, Alyona Ivanovna, cagy, severe and stingy mean from the very first cracking of her door. How can Feodor possibly get twelve parts with all the chapters when without ever having read it before I already see. Well, I’ll learn about Feodor, and maybe come to feel sympathy for the old doomed pawnstress. 

Elsewhere already, Ivan yet she called him Jean, but of course they spoke French, undeniably a revolution factor, and thus begins my Seventh Day.

I’m not very smart, we shall see how long I can take, stand it before reverting to car books. 2017 - 1968 = at Naval War College half a century ago we all took Evelyn Woods Speed Reading, but little used, the skill fades, 12 Parts challenges to brush up. How many pages and parts can one stretch out a simple murder, and how many characters will I meet.  

5:58 of a December 23, XmasEveEven, and still dark and late now we’re just past the “shortest day” of the year. Last evening a sailboat in the sunset, reminding me of a song my mother sang sweetly when I was a small boy

Red sails in the sunset way out on the sea
Oh carry my loved one home safely to me
He sailed at the dawning, all day I've been blue
Red sails in the sunset, I'm trusting in you

It was a long time ago, could have been Bing Crosby? IDK. Matter of fact, in actual, true fact,

IDK a damn thing.

Although I did once hear a retired USNavy vice admiral define Christianity as "love, and sacrifice." Where love is not a feeling. Or perhaps a feeling after all, viz Marmeladov's daughter.

Time to go walk.



DThos+

Thursday, December 22, 2016

All in good Time



Things wander through the mind, don’t they, busy little bodies, they shouldn’t, but they do, things, nicht Dinge aber Sachen, thoughts, notions, memories, ideas, longings, wishes that are not horses, die kleine Sache like how in hell did I get to be 81, I thought I was forty: where was I, did I miss it, what was I so busy doing when this sneaked up on me. Not to say what is an unsaved wretch like me doing wearing a white collar, fooling people I’m a holy man. And why did I use up Time of life being a workaholic, Saturdays into the office and worked alone for hours when we might’ve been up on Skyline Drive, but now I am 81 and they are 80 and 58 and just turned 56, what happened? Where was I? Even Tass is 44 and Kris three weeks from 24, what happened, where was I? “Working.” 

First time living in Northern Virginia 1966f, we had a camper, a small travel trailer, did some camping, not enough, but pulling it, the 318 V8 Dodge station wagon averaged 4 mpg. Backed into the driveway up alongside the carport, it served beautifully as my home office. PCS to Naval War College, Newport, RI 1968-69, we drew the camper along, a few weekends in craggy shoreline campsites with enormous spiders lurking atop the public shower stalls, but mainly the camper sat in storage overlooking Narragansett Bay that year as Rhode Island winter froze and split the copper pipes. We sold it and the Dodge as a set before the next PCS to San Diego and sea duty. Without dedicated usage and enjoyment, a travel trailer is the exact same nuisance as a beach house, BTDT too, eine Sache für ein anderer Tag. 

Dredge sitting out in the Pass channel and slowly working its project inside the Bay. Brightly lit all night, and noisy. Ship slips by.



Couple tasks to see to today before the morning seeps away, my life isn’t holding Time any better than my washbasin holds water.



USAF jet fighters in the air. Ah, next Time …


DThos+

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

On the Way



This drear week of the year, a few days before keeping the Χριστός in Xmas, mind turns to the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, and that they are so different, in content and in agenda (btw, agenda is not a four letter word implying something sinister, devious or manipulative, it simply refers to the writer’s literary purpose). Writing for a Jewish Christian audience, Matthew’s agenda with his genealogy is to show that Jesus is a son of Abraham, a Jew notwithstanding that he is a Galilean; and to show his legitimate claim to messiahship on the throne of David by tracing his ancestry back through kings of Judah, the old Southern kingdom. Matthew, subtly to us, loud and clear to his audience, underscores, emboldens his case by asserting there are 
14 generations from Abraham to David, 
14 generations from David to Jeconiah, and
14 generations from Jeconiah to Jesus. Matthew’s Jewish audience will understand his numerology: 14 in Hebrew is ד ו ד D+V+D (4+6+4=14) Dalet Vav Dalet = DaViD the king. So
from Abraham to David is DaViD, and 
from David to Jeconiah is DaViD, and 
from Jecohiah to Jesus is DaViD. Some 21st century Christians may flounder in the same bafflement that keeps them up nights about Revelation John's 666, but it’s perfectly clear to Matthew's late first and early second century audience of Jewish Christians who know their heritage and don't miss hidden meaning in Hebrew allusion.


It needn’t bother us that the counting is awkward and a bit problematic, or that Matthew leaves out some kings of Judah, because it certainly didn’t bother Matthew, who is proving a point not writing History-101. It needn’t bother us either that Matthew and Luke have different lists, because it obviously didn’t bother either of them if they even knew of each other’s gospels (a different subject in which some scholars do in fact say that there was no Q Gospel but rather that Luke knew and used Matthew and was, as he tells Theoophilus, trying to set the record straight). The two evangelists wrote at slightly different times (Luke a bit later), to different audiences, and had different agenda and points to make about Jesus.

To insist (i) that Matthew and Luke must match, or (ii) that either is trying to assert literal history in 21st century terms, would be idiocy, ridiculous. Forget it.

Except for several names, Luke’s genealogy has different names from Matthew and more names than Matthew. 


Luke seems to be writing to a Gentile, one Theophilus, we don’t know who that may be, a Roman official or sponsor maybe, or an audience of God-lovers, or maybe to the Christian church at large, we just don’t know, and though an interesting discussion, it doesn't really matter. It's to most excellent Theophilus.

And beyond incorporating Jesus’ essential Jewishness, Luke is interested in relating Jesus all the way back to Adam as son of God. He does a pretty good job, actually; I’ve not traced back through the Bible’s begats and have no intention of doing so, but someone has done, and I see Methuselah, Lamech, Noah and Shem in there, so I'm satisfied. Luke is not very interested in the begats of kings of Judah, but he does have to go through David because it’s the throne of David that the messiah is heir to, but Luke ignores Solomon, there’s Nathan, that's not David’s chaplain but an obscure son of David by Bathsheba (1 Chronicles 3:5). Jesus was a Jew so Luke takes Jesus through Abraham and the patriarchs, but he heads on back to Adam to show Jesus was adama, a human being, an earthling, like Adam, son of God. Son of God, like Adam הָֽאָדָ֗ם.

Some innocents like to say that the two genealogies are different because one evangelist traces Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph and one through Mary: all that ignorance shows is that somebody didn’t bother to read the lists. Both trace through Joseph not only for cultural reasons in a patriarchal society but also because they need Joseph in the house and lineage of king David, whereas the Holy Ghost would've had no credible messianic claim to that throne.

So, okay, time for a square of dark, and black with honey for this common cold that seems to be abating somewhat. My blog is never posted as a discussion forum, here personal musings early on a damp, chill Wednesday predawn before Xmas, about the Χριστός and the early Christian writers who made it possible for us to know him. Happy Holidays &c.

My blog: Like it or Lump it.

DThos+ in +Time+ and holding, but
neither clutching nor grasping nor gasping.

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There they go only soon to learn that there is no room in the καταλύματι so they must stay in the stable with the animals, which coincidentally sets the scene for an exemplary life of humility as well as for "Away in a manger" and other songs. Pinched online: "an icon of their trip that's in the Monastery of Chora in Constantinople (Istanbul). In it we see Joseph with a slight stoop and the gate of an elderly man. He was generally thought to be about 80 years of age at this time. His eyes are turned toward Mary who has her head turned towards him.  One of Joseph's sons is leading with his mantle flowing and carrying a bundle of provisions for the trip." (quoted from online source)

TW: The non-scriptural tradition of Joseph as a shriveled, wrinkled up, worn out, impotent old man &c is part of the, to me, absurdist sexual obsession of centuries of church elders for whom Mary's most adorable trait was virginity, blessed ever virgin. Furthermore, to have "one of Joseph's sons" in there is part of the subtle formula for Joseph and to prove back to Mary's chastity even though the Bible says Jesus had brothers and sisters. They were not Mary's children? Come on, folks, get over it!! Unfortunately in my sarcastic skepticism, instead of being assured and reassured about Mary's virginity, I see that unscriptural young man as a threat, possibly even part of the mystery. Of course, a story can be whatever one wants it to be, but, clearly, I don't see synoptical with the iconographer. Actually, I think that's a mosaic.