Showing posts from January 10, 2010

Humour in the Bible (2)

Given our historical and cultural distance from biblical literature, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the humour we see is original to the writers, or if it arises from our 21st century frames of mind.

With that caveat in mind, I find the passage below to be wonderfully funny. It’s a kind of reverse auction - going, going, gone, - but with descending bids.

The scene is Abraham’s bargaining with the LORD regarding the fate of wicked Sodom/Gomorrah. (Whatever else you understand, be assured that the “grievous sin” is NOT homosexuality.)

The story is so near- eastern. It is a story of the bazaar; the souk; the market place.

Abraham, with characteristic near-eastern “feigned humility”. (I am nothing but dust and ashes”) talks the LORD down from 50 to 10 as the required number of righteous people in Sodom.

He is bold, even audacious, as he challenges the LORD on the LORD’S own terms “25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked”.

This in…

Humour in the Bible (1)

I alluded to a wonderful biblical pun in my sermon last Sunday, and that got me to be thinking about humour in the Bible. (Please let me know if you can spot last Sunday’s allusion, the sermon is published on this Blog).

There are many genres of humour, such as  understatement, satire, irony, parody, repartee, punning, wit -  to name but a few.   

Bear them in mind as you read the scriptures -  and you’ll come across some gems of humour.

I’ll identify some of them in the next few days.

My first choice is what I consider to be a very funny story from Genesis Chapter 3.  Here I quote it  from the King James (Authorized)  Version.

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with m…

Wood Storks

Wednesday 13th January 2010

Wood Storks are rare in this part of Florida.

This pair has been hanging out for three days by the pond at the back of my home.

See also


I've just completed a 120 mile round trip which I took in order to have dinner with a friend who will shortly be leaving the U.S.A.  to work in Qatar.

It was well worth while. His company was lively and enlightening. The food at a Tapas Bar was superb.

Remember when such a trip from home would have been considered a great adventure!

Brass Monkey weather

A former colleague of mine is a weather freak. He watches the weather channel on T.V. for hours at a time, subject to the wisdom of his good wife!

And the weather has been a talk of the town here in south west Florida. We are experiencing the coldest “cold snap” in so many years. It’s been tough for citrus and strawberry growers, and even tougher for homeless people.

Here in SRQ it got down to 29f (-1c) early this morning. That’s cold for Floridians, native or immigrant. We immigrants retired here to escape the cold of winter!

Of course our chilly temperatures are “nothing” compared with the low temps in most of the northern hemisphere, and we do not have to contend with snow or icy roads. And we are glad that the cold night temperatures give way to balmier ones in day time. It reached 61f (16c) mid-afternoon today.

When I moved to Florida “they” told me that my “blood would thin”, and that after a few years I would begin to feel even mild winter cold. That’s not been the case. …

Sermon for 10th January 2010

Sermon for 10th January 2010 The Revd. J. Michael Povey at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, Sarasota FL
Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-22
Do you get the picture?  There is the big picture, filling a canvas on a wall in an art gallery.  There is the little picture, that is – those details which are essential if the big picture is to be coherent.   
One might be tempted to focus only on the details, and thus to miss the totality of the work.  Or one might be tempted to believe that the details are un-important, thus forgetting that they are essential to the big picture.
We’ll be reading a whole lot of Luke’s Gospel this year. Luke and Acts come from the same pen, and we’d be wise to think of them as volumes one and two of the same work. And there is a big picture. Luke and Acts are all about the Holy Spirit.   
Jesus is important in Luke because he is someone who most fully models life in the Holy Spirit.   
The Christian community is important in Acts because it is Spirit led and energised. The big…