Papa and Maxie Mouse

This week I received the following devotional from my friend Danny Peeler is Dallas, Texas. Danny and I were neighbours when we were young lads. Coincidentally, his career and mine led us toward a mutual love of puppets.

Now Danny is a children’s and families minister at a church in Dallas and he decided to provide a message about the Judeo-Christian traditions associated with our Jewish New Year which we are celebrating this week. Because I do a lot of volunteer work with interfaith I was delighted to read his special message.

I was also delighted that Danny kindly mentioned our Papa. Papa has been gone for over 25 years and it is nice to know that he is still remembered, admired and celebrated by Maxie Mouse! Here is Danny’s beautiful devotion and a clip of the very busy Maxie Mouse


I edit and write a lot of the Daily Devotions for my church. I remembered your dad in one of them today: Scripture

Exodus 16.4-5

God said to Moses, “I’m going to rain bread down from the skies for you. The people will go out and gather each day’s ration. I’m going to test them to see if they’ll live according to my Teaching or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have gathered, it will turn out to be twice as much as their daily ration.”
A Word of Hope

This evening Rosh Hashanah begins for all of our Jewish sisters and brothers. It’s celebrated as the head of the Jewish year and begins at sundown on the eve of Tishrei 1 (Sept. 18, 2020) and ends after nightfall on Tishrei 2 (Sept. 20, 2020). Some call it the birthday of the universe, a remembrance of the day Adam and Eve were created in the Genesis story.

The central ceremony of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing the ram’s horn (shofar) on the mornings of the holiday. It’s in the same musical instrument family as the modern bugle in that it has no pitch altering devices, but depends solely on the lips, tongue, teeth, and facial muscles of the player. Add to that the variety of shapes of the ram’s horn itself and the shofar has quite a range of sounds. Listening to comparative recordings of its timbre reminds me of the rich variety of personalities of the many Jewish friends I have had over the years.

Early in life, one of my chief mentors was a dynamic force of nature named Max Goldblatt. The newspapers at the time called him a political gadfly since he spent much of his time attending Dallas City Council meetings and harassing them about almost any given subject, from zoning to the establishment of a county-wide monorail system. He was finally elected to the Council and was enabled to harass them even more. I would often give his causes a hand by creating props and posters for his protests. He made me think about what serving the community really meant and fed my passion for championing the causes of the underdog. He inspired me to become involved in endeavors that still drive my life. To this day, I often communicate with his son, Joe, who shares his father’s chutzpah for getting things done.

Today’s lectionary reading is about God’s providing sustenance for the Hebrew people in their wilderness wanderings by raining down a divine bread-like substance for their nourishment. The first time this miracle food fell from the sky, the people gave it its name,”Manna” which means “What is this?” I have to laugh every time I read that story because it reminds me of one of the most valuable lessons that ol’ Max ever taught me: never accept anything at its face value. Always ask, “What is this?” He saved me from making a lot of rash decisions through the years. To help me remember him and his wisdom, we’ve named our main Children’s Ministry Hope at Home puppet player after him; Maxie Mouse. He keeps us on schedule.

Thank you for the rich Hebrew heritage of the faith we call Christianity. May the lessons that they still teach us be the shofar of our souls.
Devotion Author

Dan Peeler
Minister for Children and families
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare

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