How the Podcastathon Helped Me Understand the Bible Better

Hebrews 10:24 says:

“…let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds…”

That verse always bothered me because the word “provoke” just does not seem to fit.

The only other place that word is used in the Bible is Acts 15:39 where Paul (who wrote most of the New Testament) and Barnabas (who had been his co-worker for a long, long time), had a disagreement so strong that they literally went their separate ways.

Some versions of the Bible translate the word “provoke” in Hebrews as “spur” isn’t any better than “provoke” and may actually be worse.

Put yourself in the position of the ‘horse’ in this scenario, and imagine someone trying to motivate you by kicking you with metal spikes.

How could someone provoke someone to do something positive?!

Then I saw this:

2021 relay fm st jude Stephens Terrible Moustache
I love you Stephen, but this is just so, so awful.

This was one of the stages of Stephen Hackett‘s shaving during the 2021 Podcast-a-thon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I don’t need to tell you is, in a word, horrifying.

Another, more Biblical term, might be abomination.

At the very least we can all agree it was terrible.

And upsetting.

And disturbing.

We all agree on this.

Even Myke seemed to need to take a closer look… sort of like being unable to look away as you pass a horrific traffic accident.

2021 relay fm st jude Myke Looks
Myke looks both confused and horrified. And don’t miss the pull-quote under Stephen’s side.

The next stage of shaving wasn’t until we hit the next milestone, which could not possibly come fast enough.

And then, suddenly, I understood what it meant to be provoked or spurred to do a good deed.

I had to do whatever I could to help as soon as possible. I had intended to donate before this, but now I had to act. I could not wait any longer.

I was even fortunate enough that my donation quote (from the Twitch chat room) ended up as a pull-quote on-screen:

2021 relay fm st jude TJLuoma Pull Quote
(Please ignore the typo in the screenshot. So embarrassing.)

Fortunately, we reached the goal to get Stephen down to a less-terrible look:

2021 relay fm st jude Stephen Final Form

But it still needs to go.

We all agree on this.

Well, we should all agree on this.

But there’s a competition going on until the end of the month, with donations going to vote towards Stephen keeping (nooooo!) or shaving (yesssss!) the mustache.

There is actually something more important than winning…

Look, I like to win as much as the next person, but let’s be honest: this is an instance where voting is the most important thing, and by voting I mean donating to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Because children getting cancer is awful. Truly awful. And that’s something we do all agree about.

Relay is approaching $500,000 raised this year, and it’s only a little beyond the middle of September, and there’s still plenty of time to donate.

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I hope that you will donate, whatever you can, even if you vote for Stephen to keep his mustache.

Which you shouldn’t.

But you should donate to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.