Sunday, September 5, 2010

You've Fed Thousands, Now How to Handle the Leftovers

One of the dangers of an ancient tradition is that we forget that those people in the Bible were real people, people just like us. I've noticed through the years that most church going people tend to assume those people were somehow better than us. Daniel and Moses, Ruth and Esther, the 12 disciples--they take on super-hero status.

One of the ways I've tried to counteract that tendency in myself is to write poems that imagine the normal life of these Biblical people. I remember one Sunday the Gospel text mentioned Simon Peter's mother-in-law. Mother-in-law presupposes wife, right? Well here was an interesting dimension of Simon Peter that we don't normally reflect upon. I have yet to write a poem that pleases me on the subject of Simon Peter's in-laws, but I've had fun thinking about it.

Similarly, when a Gospel reading mentioned the twelve baskets of leftovers after the feeding of the 5000, I thought, what did they do with the leftovers? Jesus and the disciples were rather nomadic after all, and they couldn't exactly carry the baskets with them. And thus, a poem was born.

If you'd like to read it, you can go here to the online journal Qarrtsiluni. There's even a button which will allow you to hear me read it.

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