01 February 2008

The Friday Five: Options Edition

Sally has the Friday Five for RevGals & Pals today:
There is so much going on this weekend that I thought I'd provide an options Friday 5!!!!
First Superbowl ( someone explain to this Brit the significance)- love it or hate it?5 reasons please!!!!!
Second, Candlemas/ Imbloc/ Groundhog day/ St Brigid's day- all of these fall on either the 1st or 2nd February.
1. Do you celebrate one or more of these?
2. How?
3. Is this a bit of fun or deeply significant?
4. Are festivals/ Saints days important to you?
5.Name your favourite Saints day/ celebration.
Bonus- 2nd Feburary is also my Birthday- I will donate £1.00 for every comment on my Friday Five Post to the Methodist Relief and Development Fund.
Okay, first, the Super Bowl (note the spelling correction):
1. It's the epitome of 21st Century American sport - flash and brutality combined. Used to be the World Series, but we're not the same country we were 50 years ago. It's no coincidence that American football uses military terms like "blitz," "attack" and "protection." Where do you think "shock and awe" comes from?
2. The showbiz aspect of the event cannot be overemphasized. The majority of Americans can't even afford tickets to the game, but it's still a sellout every time. The game itself matters little - it's all show, baby.
3. Commercials, commercials, commercials. Again, it's the glitter and the show that matters.
4. Halftime? A chance to see if artists can still rock (Prince, U2, Aerosmith) or if they flop (Paul McCartney, Janet Jackson before the infamous malfunction).
5. There are some of us who actually love football - we watch because it's the last game we'll get to see until August.

Now, as to saints' days, etc. I hadn't heard of Imbolc until you mentioned it today, Sally, though I had heard the name Candlemas but had no idea what it signified. Needless to say, it's not a high day on the Johnson family calendar. Neither is Groundhog Day - seems like the oddest little "holiday" I know. For my money, the best thing about Groundhog Day is the movie of the same name starring Bill Murray.
I do have some interest in Celtic and Irish festivals, just because the culture fascinates me - so mark me down on the "bit of fun" side of things. There is some concern for me about idolatry, but no more so than for my love of Tolkien - the artistic, ethical and moral truths behind the stories are what draws me to these myths and legends, while faith in the triune God is what gives me life itself.
Our American Lutheran church doesn't celebrate many saints' days, though there are some pockets of "high church" Lutheranism around the country who do celebrate them in many different ways. For Lutherans, the most celebrated festival day would be Reformation Day, 31 October (yes, All Saints' Eve), which is the day we believe Martin Luther first posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Saxony in 1517. Lots of us love to "do it up" for Reformation Day (or Reformation Sunday, the last Sunday in October each year) - we wear red (represents the Holy Spirit and the martyrs of the church), we sing Luther hymns (especially "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God") and we preach about ecclesia reforma semper reformanda - "the church, reformed, is constantly reforming."
We do celebrate other festivals, especially All Saints' Sunday, Pentecost, Holy Trinity and Christ the King. But for Lutherans, Reformation Sunday is a big deal.
Thanks, Sally - this was fun!


  1. A good post - interesting reflections on the Super Bowl. Have you listened to George Carlin's comparison of football and baseball? It's cute and funny, but also a little scary.

    Happy Friday!

  2. Commercials and this year, Tom Petty ( hopefully no wardrobe malfunction there).

  3. oh Tom Petty... well he sings like he's constipated but i like him anyhow. lots of mega dollars into the football show that's for sure... but randy moss, tom brady, and their coach who has worn the same ratty sweathshirt with 3/4 lenght sleeves all #$%@ season... the pats need to win so bill can get himself a new shirt.