Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thoughts on the Beatles and the Psalms

My church had an evening of the arts last week and invited people to share creative works that somehow related to the Psalms, which we have been studying and using in worship during the last 3 months.  I thought people might enjoy my Beatles quilt, and then tried to figure how that could ever relate to the Psalms, especially since the Beatles were not traditionally Christian (or Jewish). 
So after some thought, I wrote the following to go with my quilt:

Thoughts on the Psalms and the Beatles

It seems completely contradictory to put these ideas together, as the Beatles said some outrageous things about the church and even Jesus during their heyday. So what do they have to do with the Psalms?

But first, consider this question:

1.       How many Psalms have you memorized?  For most of us, probably the 23rd Psalm, and maybe Psalm 1, or 91 (eagle’s wings)?

2.       How many Beatles songs do you know the words to? 

Unless you’re very young, or very old, probably 5 or 6 or even more that you know the whole song (there are a lot of repeats), and many more that you know the first couple of lines just from hearing the song title.


As English evangelist George Whitefield said in the early 19th century, “Why should the devil get all the good tunes?”


Our handicap with the Psalms is that we don’t have the tunes they were sung to.  We have some good hymn tunes  based on the Psalms, so we probably actually have more of those memorized than just the Psalm text.


But getting back to the Beatles, I think not only the tunes but the words reflect some of the same yearnings of the human heart that are reflected in the Psalms, even though Paul or John or George didn’t necessarily think they were talking about or to God. (Whereas the Psalmist clearly has a conversation with God in mind).


So here are some thoughts on similarities in themes and, perhaps more important, emotions,  in certain Beatles songs:


Psalm of Lament:  The Long and Winding Road, Eleanor Rigby

Wisdom Psalm:  the Fool on the Hill (compare Psalm 1)

Historical Psalm – Yesterday, In My Life

Psalm of Deliverance – Help!

Psalm of Comfort – Let it Be

Imprecatory  Psalm - Revolution


And a new testament theme :   Love is All You Need


French philosopher Blaise Pascal said:   “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
- Blaise Pascal, Pensees


I think the Psalms and the great secular songs that touch our hearts come from that hole crying out for God, even when the singer doesn’t even know God.


--Linda Newman

Saturday, August 24, 2013

end of summer

It's been a busy summer, with a lot of business travel, so not a lot of time for quilting, but I finished a couple of quilts that started last year.  The quilt above is from a block of the month from my local quilt shop, called "Tisket a Tasket."  I pretty much followed the directions, but had to adjust the setting instructions for the on point border blocks; the math was just off.  Local Longarmer Maria Hall did a fabulous job on the quilting; I can't get enough of the quilting feathers.  I hope you can see it in the photos. 
The other quicky quilt I finished was a donation quilt for our Guild's Covers for Kids.  Our friendship group did jumbo disappearing 9-patch quilts, and I did mine with large I-spy fabrics, with this quilt geared for an elementary age boy.   My friend Donna King did a great job with the quilting.  This one has already been delivered to the Guild for donation.  This makes 5 I-spys that I have made so far, and I'm working on another one for my niece.

My other current project is the Row Along from Lori Holt's Row along, and I'm on the 7th row.  (I'm substituting Sophie's birds for the mugs that were suggested.  I also have my eclipse blocks to cut to size and assemble, and putting the border on my Millions of Cats quilt.  So progress is underway!