I’ve spent most of today while at work (here at the school) doing research on one of my writing projects (a commentary on the Four Gospels of Jesus Christ, laid out in chronological order the best I can fit it all together). Here’s a few things I found a long the way that be of interest that are not exactly connected with that project but are tangentially fun nevertheless…

  • The Cotton Patch Gospel – The Gospel of Luke —- a crazy, crazy version of the Bible, written with the colloquial talk of common folks in the South. I rather like it and get stirred up every time I read it, even if it is rather unconventional (obviously this won’t be something I woudl recommend for serious study, but I do like it devotionally). Here’s one quote I really liked from Luke chapter 2…
      22. After they had finished carrying out the rules and regulations of the church in regard to the child, they brought him to the bishop in Atlanta to dedicate him to the Lord, just as the scripture said: “Every first baby, if it’s a boy, shall be dedicated to the Lord.” Also, they wanted to make a thank-offering—as the scripture said—of the equivalent of “a couple of ducks or two fryers.”25. Now then, there was a man in Atlanta whose name was Simon. He was a sincere and devout man, and deeply concerned for the welfare of the world. Being a spirit-led man, he had been assured by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Lord’s Leader. Guided by the spirit, he came to the First Church. And when the parents brought in the child. Jesus for the ceremonies, Simon picked him up in his arms and praised God. He said,

        “Now let your servant, Almighty Master,
        Slip quietly away in peace, as you’ve said.
        For these eyes of mine have seen your deliverance
        Which you have made possible for all of the people,
        It’s a light to illuminate the problem of races,
        A light to bring honor to your faithful disciples.”

      33. And his father and mother were really amazed at these things that were said about him. Simon congratulated them and said to Mary his mother, “Listen, this little one is put here for the downfall and uplift of many in the nation, and for a symbol of controversy–your heart, too, will be stabbed with a sword–so that the inner feelings of many hearts may be laid bare.”

      36. Now Hannah, a lady minister, was there. She was from one of the best families in the South. She was quite old, having lived with her husband for seven years after getting married, and as a widow from then until her present age of eighty-four. She never left the church, worshipping there night and day with prayers and vigils. She came up to them at the same time and gave God’s approval, and started talking about the child to all those who were hoping for the nation’s deliverance.

      39. And when they got through with all the church requirements, they went back to south Georgia, to their own city of Valdosta. And the little fellow grew and became strong. He was plenty smart, and God liked him.

      41. Now each year his parents went to Atlanta for the State Conference. So when he was twelve, they went up for the Conference just as they were accustomed to. When it was over, they left for home, but the lad Jesus stayed on in Atlanta without his parents realizing it. Supposing him to be in another car, they went several hours before inquiring about him among friends and relatives. Unable to find him, they returned to Atlanta and continued their search. After a very long time they finally found him at the First Church sitting in the middle of a group of preachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All his hearers were absolutely astounded at his insight and answers. When Joseph and Mary saw this, they were flabbergasted, and his mother said to him, “Listen here, son, why did you treat us like this? Your dad and I have been worried to death looking for you.”

      49. He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you realize that I needed to be with my Father’s people?”

      50. But they didn’t catch on to what he had said to them.

      51. He left with them and went back to Valdosta and accepted their guidance. His mother stored up every word in her memory. And Jesus forged ahead both mentally and physically. God liked him, and people did too.

  • A collection of Restoration Movement Texts