Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Musings

Carl Sagan observed that “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” I have enjoyed that thought since I first heard it on Cosmos. I think it speaks in elegant simple terms to some of the biggest Why questions, and also affirms that awesome paradox that we can be at once insignificant specks in a vast universe, and a vital part of this creation. As we advance through Advent and contemplate on preparing for the coming of the Lord, I have found my mind wandering along a very different perspective on that duty, one which stretches back to the first man and forward to the last.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reflecting on Church Disunity and Communion.

With the conflict between Bishop Murphy of the AMiA and the Synod of Rwanda being in the news, I find myself more focused on the Church Visible than I usually am. Please forgive me for a post more about church politics than the substance of faith. Early in Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a scene which hits me with a mixture of sadness and laughter every time I watch it. To join it in media res:

Reg: Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.

(Others): Yeah

Judith: Splitters.

Francis: And the Judean Popular People’s Front.

(Others): Oh yeah. Splitters.

Loretta: And the People’s Front of Judea.

(Others): Splitters.

Reg: What?

Loretta: The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.

Reg: We're the People's Front of Judea.

Loretta: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

Reg: People’s Front.

Francis: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

Reg: He's over there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Right to Say No; Even to God.

Psalm 19 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." This, and similar scripture lines are often used by Christian Fundamentalists when arguing that it is not reasonable to allow folks to believe in a view of creation other than theirs, or when refuting scientific discoveries and observations they feel conflict with what they “know” about the world. I think it will not surprise my readers to know that I do not hold to this view, and indeed strongly reject it. To me, one of God’s gifts, and a cornerstone of the human condition, is the fact that we have free will, and as such have the freedom to say No.