Posted by: jkirkby8712 | April 17, 2011

Sunday, 17th April 2011 – a musical and literary Sunday

The forecast was for another beautiful Autumn day in this part of the world – I must say, it doesn’t feel or look that way at the moment [9.45 am], a little chilly, and rather overcast, but I’m sure the sun is there, just waiting to break through those clouds. Incidentally, I didn’t get to the local football match last night – a month of ironing took longer than anticipated [ I need a maid, or a woman, full stop[!!] –  however, the local team had a strong win, good start to the season!

My reconstructed cd version of the vinyl recording of Rimsky-Korsakoff’s ‘Russian Easter Overture’ let me down this morning – the cd ‘went on strike’ about halfway through the track I was playing. Thankfully, JS Bach [on a modern CD] came to the rescue, with some beautiful organ music. The remainder of my Sunday morning show went off without any such further problems!

A brief quotation from an article in this morning’s Age newspaper, sub-titled with the sentence that ‘Young people no longer know key Christian narratives – and we may be the poorer for it’. It goes on to say that ‘When Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed to God that he might be spared the horror of the cross, he might well have added that ‘by 2011, most kids won’t even know who I am…..they’ll be more concerned about why chocolate eggs are delivered by a rabbit’.  It’s considered  by many that it would be a miracle if children today actually knew anything about the ‘Bible’, yet at the same time, there is a broad view that our society will be poorer for that lack of knowledge and understanding of  the richness of many of the stories and human meaning behind the preaching of Jesus. Whether you believe in the Christian faith or not, many would agree that some of the stories display interpretations of good values, and the basic fundamentals of being kind and caring and thinking about your fellow human being. But these are discarded because they originate from the Bible or preachings of Jesus that people don’t want to know about. However, the article points out that the same moral values can be found in secular society, and they are more readily acceptable for that very reason – they are not tied to Christianity, or religion in general. The example is given from Gallipoli, and the story  of Simpson [John Simpson Kirkpatrick] and his donkey, who through the trenches of Gallipoli, rescued the injured time and again, until he himself was killed. Today’s children may not be aware, or want to know about the ‘Good Samaritan, but if Simpson was referred to in that manner – the Good Samaritan of Gallipoli –  the story would immediately be accepted and understood. As an aside to that article, the paper has included comments by the Anglican Reverend Jenny Nelson, of Christ Church, South Yarra [in Melbourne] where she highlights five stories from the Christian Bible which she considers still matter and are relevant today. Others will place a different interpretation, while still others will continue to discard them as myths and fairytales.  Her five stories are:

The Great Flood Story [Genesis: 6.9-9.29]: Noah builds an ark to save the world’s wildlife from a great deluge. Children love this story as it resonates with environmental issues.

The Exodus story [Exodus: 1.1-15.21]: Where Moses leads the israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. There are existential issues of oppression and freedom in this story.

The Nativity story: [Luke: 2.1-21]: The birth of Jesus. The story resonates with children and adults alike as it picks up on issues of the vulnerability of the human condition and the wonder of new life.

The Good Samaritan: [Luke 10:25-37]: A Samaritan takes care of a Jewish man who has been beaten up and left for dead, even though they are political enemies. The message is about loving one another.

The Easter story: [Matthew: 26: 26-28 and John: 20:1-18]: The death and resurrection of Christ. Ideas of betrayal, sacrifice, love and redemption are played out in the narrative. The growing popularity of the ANZAC dawn service [25 April, in Australia] may be a reflection of the community’s recognition of the importance of these ideas.

Interesting concepts, or perhaps simply the random plucking of comparisons of modern issues as justification for the continued acceptance of the Bible stories illustrated?  Depends on you personal point of view obviously.  An anthropologist from Melbourne’s Deakin University, for eg, suggests that ‘Bible myths are constantly reworked into contemporary stories’ [did you know, for eg, that the ‘Lord of the Rings’ is the retelling of the Book of Revelation, according to one view!]  I personally  found the ANZAC idea a valuable one.  All in all, much food for thought, whether on a religious or secular basis.

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