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Archive for May, 2007

We are not a tradition that typically references the liturgical year, so when Robby got up to provide our Communion Prayers and began with about a minute of French, there were few of us able to interpret the event.* Today is Pentecost Sunday. Bravo, Robby.

Pentecost is the end of the Easter season, and I love that we approached the table this morning not as fearful Maundy Thursday mourners,** but as the church in the Spirit, receiving Christ’s promise for the world. Just to prove I am really reading and not blogging, here is an excerpt from Laurence Stookey’s Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996). Stookey talks about the effects of consumerism and individualism on ecclesiology, and then reflects,
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And, Hey!
Darth Vader in that black and evil mask:
Did he scare you as much as he scared me?
Yeow!*

This weekend is the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.** My first Star Wars experience is one of my most vivid childhood memories. It was bed time, but instead of being tucked in, I went for a drive with my Dad to the Topanga Theater. He didn’t tell me where we were going. I remember the awe and wonder I felt as the immense underside of that Imperial ship glided gravityless across the screen for what seemed like thirty minutes. I am sure this was my first religious experience in a theater. I remember a lot of those feelings. It was amazing.

Sometime between Star Wars and Empire, I laid in bed meditating on the rumors that Lucas was planning seven sequels at three-year intervals. After a little addition, I was worried that by the time the series ended I’d be too old to love it anymore.

My brother talks about how, when he sees Star Wars, part of the script is the commercials that ran on the VCR’d version that was his authoritative edition.

I’m too afraid to look at what’s happening over at Ain’t It Cool. [Shudder.]

*Bill Murray as lounge singer Nick Winters, SNL 1977
** For the benefit of my Luddite readers.

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And, in conclusion, (insert orchestral explosion and ice skating foam-animal-mascots-with-fountains-of-sparks-spraying-in-their-wakes here):

Here are my dearly loved and heavy historied friends, the Schribers. I highly recommend reading their story, and sending them thousands of dollars in support. This is likely the only website with the intriguing tag-line, “A family serving Jesus Christ through aviation technology.”

Scott is training to fly and maintain planes for Christian workers in two-thirds world settings, where transportation and safety issues are serious stuff. We are prayerfully supporting their training and work, and would give ’em more dimes if we had ’em to give.

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I’ve been a Pajiba reader off and on, and enjoy the unusually smart and fair-handed “Jesus, etc.” column editor Dan Carlson provides, on and off. Oh, and it’s also often hilariously on the mark. A few weeks ago, I added my name to a little group of same-church-traditioned bloggers, and, checking some of the other links, lo and behold, there’s Carlson. Shor’n’begorrah.

In grad school, I knew a musician who played the coffee shop where I worked, and if you asked him for an original, he’d say there’s no need – plenty of better songs already out there. I feel that way about a lot of coffee shop music, too, but my point is that I realize there are plenty of actually good blogs out in the great wide world web, so why clutter the downtime of three obliged family members and friends with another bookmark?
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If you haven’t seen it, Larry Flynt’s eulogy of Falwell is one of the most interesting I’ve read. I’m also kind of digging Hermits Rock, whoever those guys are.

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Rachel describes a remarkable image of the complexity of this war. [Editor’s note: “absurdity” comes more naturally, but see hesitation below.]

When I read about social conscience among Churches of Christ in the 1960s, one of the sad complexities was responding to the political side of Vietnam while loving the actual people suffering the personal tragedies of those policies – the parents of soldiers who sat in your row at church. We were already out of the running for peace church status; it’s a difficult position from which to articulate a platform for peace. “Lucky” for us, we didn’t talk “politics” from the podium much. Despite spots of implicit nationalism, I think we’re among the few, larger, non-peace churches who don’t typically fly the flag in the auditorium (at least not physically). So, we’ve got that going for us.

Maranatha.

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In my pre-terminal-degree life, it was always interesting when people asked what I thought I would do for a living. I was eager to hear what I would say (I have a more standard line, now, although I say it with much more fear and trembling).

This kind of improvisational identity experience still surprises me from time to time. I was exchanging e-mails with a friend about what makes for good church, and found that I’d written something like this:

I used to be more picky about worship, and I used-to-used-to be committed to charismatic expression in worship, but now I don’t care so much about how much Holy Spirit is in your auditorium. Or great music, which has its own temples, and even there is still God’s. I’d rather just know where to find my congregation during the week, and know that we’re all going to show up at the table together on Sunday, and that we might pray and do in the world out of that encounter. But I know sometimes it is hard to tell that this is happening except through longevity with one place.

That sounds pretty good. Although it might explain why my worship planning has been a little boring. I’m working on it.

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