Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Location: Northport, Long Island, United States

Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Rachel's children

We have been studying the psalms in adult bible study on Sunday mornings before church. I didn't pick it, not sure if I like it, but we are using a guide written by Eugene Peterson. So be it.

Since it wasn't too hot yet, folks who arrived first decided that we could sit outside in the shade again. Metal folding chairs are metal folding chairs, I guess, regardless of where you place them! So, after a time for communal prayer, we began the lesson for the day, Psalm 137. It's one of those psalms of lament which didn't make the psalter in the Lutheran Book of Worship but, given the news from the Middle East, it seemed timely although I must confess, I didn't think of the coincidence until later.

Psalm 137 begins with familiar words
By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.

It is a psalm written after the Israelites had been exiled to Babylon and while it begins with what is a poignant recollection, in its nine or so verses, it quickly spins down into a vengeful plea.
O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
Happy shall they be who pay you back
what you have done to us!
Happy shall they be who take your little ones
and dash them against the rock!
Not exactly what the lectionary might have us sing about on a given Sunday. They are troubling words. They talk about payback, payback meted out on the heads of the most innocent of innocent, the children. Yesterday, I thought of the dozens of innocent children upon whose heads a ton or so of bombs fell. Bombs which had their origin in the US of A. As Dr Rice flits about the world, our munitions dealers are providing all of the tonnage of bombs to destroy Lebanon in pursuit of the Hezbollah.

A colleague suggests that we ought be about the business of evangelize Hezbollah. I am sure that they are as eager for our brand of Christianity as they are our American democracy. Perhaps we might seek to understand why they reject our values, our beliefs, our form of government. Perhaps we might seek out Imams who are faithful adherents to Mohammed and the Qu'ran, and help them get their people back on track. Maybe, just maybe, when they start to think that we respect them as people, that we see ourselves and them, all of them, as children of Abraham can we be about the business of community.

Until then, please do what you can to help the innocent. Lord knows there are a lot of them. Please contact Lutheran Disaster Response today.


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