Slap Me With Spaghetti by Phil

Hello dear readers.  It's time to dig into our Bibles for the weird and wacky.  Let's take a look at a very familiar verse.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. - Psalm 51:7

This comes from David's lament after his Bathsheba incident. For today, let's shift our focus to the plant.  What is hyssop?  It is mentioned several times in the Bible from instances referring to the brush used to paint blood on the Hebrew doorposts during the final Egyptian plague to the stalk used to raise a sponge to wet Jesus lips during the crucifixion.  Most of the time hyssop is mentioned in relation to purifying everything from people to houses.  There is a modern bush called hyssop, but most scholars agree it is not the same plant described in the Bible.  There are several different views, but the one that best fits the bill is some variety of wild oregano!  The flowering part could easily be used as a brush and the woody stems can grow to three or four feet tall, so it could have been used to lift a sponge to Jesus.  Also, oregano is loaded with antiseptic compounds which explains the purifying or cleansing references.  And as our Italian friends have shown us, it makes a mighty fine pasta sauce!

Just think how the Bible might read if Italy had been the Holy Land.  Instead of "cleanse me with hyssop," David could have said, "Slap me with spaghetti."  Instead of matzo, Jews might have broken garlic bread at the Passover celebration. Isaiah's famous line might have been, "Though your sins are like Marinara, they shall be as white as Alfredo."  I could go on, but I'm getting hungry.

So the next time you bite into a pizza or a steaming bowl of spaghetti, take a moment to savor that wonderful aroma and remember hyssop, and the fact that only Jesus can cleanse you whiter than snow.

Now as for that big red glob of sauce on your shirt...

Phil and Pam

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