Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quotable Sewanee #2

"He was born on third base, but he thought he hit a triple."


Welcome to Not So National Blog Publishing During Advent Thingy. I've decided to take on a little project of posting each day during advent. Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the christain year but I don't think most people know much about it, so for the next four weeks I'll add some theology and history, but mostly this will just be my blog, but daily.
Where the culture gets Advent right: preparing for Christmas. Advent is a time of waiting and preparation.
Where the culture gets advent wrong: Advent is a time of dark waiting, Jesus is not with us yet, in the wonderfully weird sense of theological time. This shows the psychological genius of the Liturgical Calendar: theologically and psychologically it is challenging and neccesary to ask what my spiritual director did: What is life like without Jesus? For many I suppose that question has never been posed. Really, what is life like without Jesus? Maybe for you life is no different. That may be just fine with you. maybe it's not, why? Perhaps asking this question will ask others, what is important about Jesus, what did he do if anything. This simple asking puts us in touch with all the early christians as they struggled toward a comprehensive picture of Jesus and his mission. I hope this advent you will ask hard questions, and rest in the darkness of those questions. Doubt and questions live with faith, not against them. Faith is not certainty. Faith is trust. When we trust another we are going out on a limb, there are no guarantess. But life is good when we trust.
I'll leave you with a photo of what advent is not: but entertaining as hell.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Atlanta Weekend#1 aka St. Joe voodoo child

So I was talking to the Dean of Students and his secretary about how we are selling our house, or not selling our house; and they suggested that I try Saint Joseph. "Huh?" Turns out that there is a hold over here in the "Episcopal Theme Park", a hold over from the Roman Catholic heritage and the cult of saints. So with Saint Joseph you procure a statue of him, bury him upside down in the yard and pray everyday until it sells. I put the call out to the seminary students here and received the requisite smart ass remarks including this gem:
I don't have a St. Joseph statue, but I do have a Jesus action figure that
I would be willing to lend you!
I do know people who have used St. Joseph when they sold their house and
they swear by the technique.
I say try it out, and if St. Joseph can't help you than I am sure that St.
Jude (the patron saint of lost causes) can help!

Here's a link Andy sent that must be seen to believed.
My favorite is "Saint Joseph, my real estate agent." It took less than two hours to find a 3 inch platic St. Joseph that "worked for us." As the responses rolled in I got more and more perscriptions about how to bury Old Joe. Here's what Britt and I settled on: Upside down, facing the house from the west, facing east. Interpret that however you like. The Baptist in me was and is prickling at all this. Saints? Statues? But I do believe in the communion of Saints, and that they can pray for us. So I thought of the act of burying Joe as a physical prayer. God knows our inmost desires, prayer is for us as much as for God. So I cobbled some words together and said something like: St. Joseph, you were homeless on the night of Jesus' birth, take our earnest desire to Creator God in the name of Jesus Christ, our friend and God. Amen. We'll see...