Exploration 90 – Counting the Omer – Counting to Pentecost

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.

Leviticus 23:15-16 King James Version

The sheaf of the wave offering comprised a dry measure of barley called an omer. Along with the Passover this counting is a remembrance of the Exodus and the time it took the Israelites to reach Mount Sinai to receive the Torah.

The morrow after the sabbath begins on Saturday evening and extends to Sunday evening. That is the time of the wave sheaf offering. That first day of the week is counted as Day One. The next day is counted as Day Two. This counting continues until we reach the forty-ninth day which is the seventh sabbath. The fiftieth day is Shavuot an appointed time of YeHoVaH (מוֹעֲדֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה) on the biblical calendar. Since the wave sheaf offering does not always align with Easter, Shavuot can become obscured with the focus on Pentecost (fifty days after Easter) in the solar, liturgical calendar most of us use today.

In both Shavuot and Pentecost there is a receiving from YeHoVaH. At Shavuot the Israelites received the Torah, the instruction, at Mount Sinai. At Pentecost the early Messianic believers received the Holy Spirit during the appointed time of Shavuot in Jerusalem. Before Yeshua’s fulfillment of the Passover as the perfect sacrifice and His fulfillment of Unleavened Bread as the first fruits, wave sheaf offering after His Resurrection, Shavuot was a remembrance of that past event of receiving the Torah and a rehearsal for receiving the Holy Spirit.

Now that Shavuot has also been fulfilled it remains an appointed time for remembrance of both events. Keeping these appointed times reminds us where we are in the story of redemption, a story that had been laid out before us in advance and reinforced through the yearly appointed times of the biblical calendar.

The difference between cyclic pagan calendars and this forward directed biblical calendar is the story of redemption from the Exodus to Yeshua’s Resurrection to the coming of His Messianic Kingdom. That story is not something that can be derived from human experimentation and reasoning nor from New Age nature sentimentality.

As I see it, this story comes only through biblical revelation which makes the biblical calendar unique. However, if you think there is some other competing world narrative worth considering, let me know in the comments.

To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 1:3-5 King James Version

Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Acharei Mot, 29 Nissan, 5782 – April 30, 2022
Torah: Leviticus 16:1-18:30
Haftarah: Ezekiel 22:1-19
Brit Chadashah: Hebrews 9:11-28
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

Meadow

Bad Driver – Terrible Poetry Contest (WINNER!)

I am grateful to Chel Owens for selecting my free verse poem as the winner of the most recent Terrible Poetry Contest. The award winning poem and my attempt to explain it are below.

Also a new Terrible Poetry Contest has started. You may be the next winner!


Bad Driver

I told my shrink that the cops brought me here because of my bad driving and he said I had no record of ever driving a car in my life and I told him, not car, spaceship, S-P-A-C-E-S-H-I-P, and he said I had no spaceship and wasn’t an alien because my DNA test, D-N-A, showed I’m human enough and I told him, well, then why am I in that padded cell and he said I wasn’t in any cell and I asked him if he was trying to drive me crazy and if he was he wasn’t doing a good job of it and then he said I was brought in because I was scaring the neighborhood kids and the judge assigned me to him and I told him that I had a lot of fun turning my head 360 degrees like an owl and he said I couldn’t do stuff like that and I asked him whether he ever saw me and he said no and so I asked him if he wanted to see me turn my head 360 degrees and he said, “Sure, Marvin, go ahead turn your head 360 degrees like an owl, go on show me” and so I turned my head 360 degrees like an owl and he called the exorcist.


This poem is in imitation of Gerald Stern’s American Sonnets. These “sonnets” have no rhyme nor meter (and often no sense that I could detect). They are mostly one sentence long allowing the reader to put in line breaks or not. I would call them terrible American sonnets, but he won some award for them and they are occasionally entertaining.

And now I’ve won an award for one as well!

Chel Owens' Terrible Poetry Contest Winner Award

From Evening’s Dusk to Full Mid-Day

From dusk to dawn was darkest night
then twilight pointed out new day.
The dogwood trees in bloom are white.
He leads us on the blessed way.

Eugenia offers “dusk” for her prompt this week.

Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (KJV)

Picnic Table and Pond
Picnic Table and Pond

Soaring

The darkness blinding us has gone.
We know the Lord as we are known.
Face to face we finally see
soaring past all mystery.
The part we could not see is shown.


Eugenia offers the word “soaring” for this week’s challenge.

1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Seagull in the Sun
Seagull in the Sun

Roar – Décima

The watchers on the wall will sound
the trumpets warning should they see
the enemy. Persistently
we’ll hold the line. To Him we’re bound.
It’s up to us to stand our ground.
Survival and salvation: May
we thank the Lord for every day
He gives to let our voices roar,
our praises to the heavens soar.
We hear His voice. We rise, obey.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “roar” to be used in a D-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge. Eugenia offers “survival” as her prompt this week.

Sunrise Through Leaves
Sunrise Through Leaves

Hook – Décima

With freeze and thaw of wintry woes
some fear the still-life’s gonna die.
Why spin the news so fast that I
can see the lies beneath fresh snows?

There is the Lamb that heaven shows,
the One who can unseal the book.
The losing side will try to hook
the world with sorrows. Persevere.
The sea of glass and fire comes here
with victory and praising. Look!

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “hook” to be used in a C-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge. Eugenia offers the theme “still-life” as her prompt this week. A commentary on Revelation by Michael Rood was on my mind especially verse 15:2 which he kept referring to.

Autumn Park
Autumn Park

Swoop – Décima

The care they take is on display
as swallows from the rafters swoop.
From nest to ground they make a loop
to feed their young throughout the day.

Can evolution show a way
that’s plausible when all I see
is nature mocking endlessly?
Chance has no chance to make sense here.
There’s much to doubt. They no doubt fear
we’ve lost our gullibility.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “swoop” to be used in a B-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge.

Grateful for Rest – Décima

Constricting envy cannot rest.
It meditates throughout the night,
turns dark the dawn of morning light.
Our lungs can’t breathe. We’re python pressed.

We’d much prefer to be caressed
without this dust. We don’t need more
of what they’ve got. We’re looking for
a way to make the python go,
stop scheming, squeezing, wanting so.
The Spirit breathes. We see the door.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “rest” to be used in a A-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge. Eugenia offers “envy” as the prompt for her challenge this week.

White Wall
White Wall

Rise – Décima

It’s not the sun. It’s not the moon.
It’s not the stars. They serve as signs.
The ordered light they offer shines,
but cannot sing a sacred tune.

He’s coming and He’s coming soon.
We lift our voice. We lift our hands
abandoning our once prized plans.
In unison our praises rise.
In expectation, earth and skies,
are eager, waiting for our stands.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “rise” to be used in a D-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s Decima Challenge. Eugenia offers “unison” for her weekly prompt. I am thinking of Romans 8:16.

Sunrise with two birds
Sunrise with birds

Fresh – Décima

The Lord resides within his mind,
or so he thinks, but not his heart.
His wheelchair today won’t start.
The internet goes blank. He’s blind.

He rises standing there to find
rebellion as his mental mesh
is torn revealing fallen flesh.
Knocked down his demons seek the door.
His heart’s been cleaned renewed now for
a will aligned and temple fresh.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word fresh to be used in a C-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge. I am thinking of Psalm 51:10.

Sunrise Reflection
Sunrise Reflection
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