He Was Not at All Afraid to be Killed in Nasty Ways

Most important news first.



I got to video call home this past weekend and, obviously, the cats were a major topic of discussion.  I mean, I talked with the parentals too. But cats. I mean, it’s too precious when you hear your kitty purring when we’re 4,500 miles apart. Too. Precious.

Also in the realm of good news, you may not have been aware, but this week marked the fortieth anniversary of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Apparently theaters across the world were showing it in celebration. I don’t have a definitive favorite movie (I’m non-committal that way) but I do have a top-five-in-no-particular-order and it is in it. The others, if you’re curious, are The Lord of the Rings (as one film), It’s a Wonderful Life, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Australia. Though, in all honestly, those last two I’m not 100% behind including, though I do love them. But yeah, Holy Grail is a fantastic film, really into it. I’m a believer that most–if not all–of life can be lived quoting only it, Lord of the Rings, and maybe Harry Potter. And, thanks to my older brother, I can basically quote Holy Grail, among a variety of Monty Python sketches, in its entirety and could from a fairly early age. I’m eternally grateful for that ability.

Other than this frankly momentous occasion, this week was fairly quiet for me. My classes are really interesting (with the obvious exception of Research Methods which continues to be a source of pain). This week we talked a lot about the Northern Ireland peace process (so-called) which I knew some about before but have greatly increased that base and seen some new perspectives. So basically the reason I’m in this course, yay! Shoutout to my coursemates who are all truly wonderful and who, apparently, have started reading this. My fault for putting it on Facebook, I guess. Looking forward to a wine and cheese social with them tomorrow, should be nice. The Irish are real proud of their cows, which means their beef and their dairy are highly esteemed. We’ll see, I haven’t tried much yet so far. I’m hoping their faith is well-founded because, as some of you are all too well aware, I like cheese.

On an unrelated note, I’ve had a song stuck in my head periodically for the past long while (as frequently happens with me) and I thought I’d share a bit about it. When the AU Chamber Singers went on tour to Russia, we sang a liturgical piece called Неизреченное чудо, a beautiful and almost haunting, if brief, song. (I laugh at those of you who were expecting something you might recognize). I highly recommend a listen, just copy and paste that title into YouTube, it’s really lovely. A very free translation of the text might say something along the general lines of, “Inexpressible wonder that the one who rescued the youths from the fiery furnace is now laid breathless in a tomb for our salvation.” The single line ‘inexpressible wonder’ (which is, by the way, the title) keeps coming back to me. How incredible is it that literally the most important entity in the universe suffered a horrendous death for my sake? And that he then rose again to prove his victory. It’s just wow.

In another Monty Python film, Life of Brian, a random man in Jerusalem is mistaken for the Christ and accidentally develops this whole following. It is, in accordance with Monty Python style, very quotable and just generally humorous. But I’m reminded at this juncture of 1 Corinthians 1:18 which says that the message of the cross is foolishness to the world. The idea of the cross is just silly, that God would sacrifice himself for us. How radical. What an inexpressible wonder.


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