Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Yeah, I have become this person.

FCS-Ian added a whole bunch of hymns to the rotation for Lenten morning prayer service, which I was stoked about. Peter (husband of Rev.Molly, so has been at First Church UCC for over 7 years and probably in the UCC for longer, but grew up Episcopalian) mentioned that he didn't know some of the ones that had been added. I was surprised because I'd thumbed through and had been stoked that I knew all of them (in contrast to hymn selections there often). So FCS-Ian and I sang through the ones that Peter (and/or Althea) didn't know. "Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded" I realized I was sight-reading, but I "knew" it sufficient that when I saw it in the folder I was like, "Seriously?!"

So we got to talking about Good Friday hymns/theology. (Yes, I was ~10 minutes late to work because I was in the church kitchen consuming !Communion bread and grape juice and arguing discussing theology.)

As we wrapped up the conversation so that we could all get to work, Peter said to me: "You have a very full Protestant theology, is what it boils down to." (Whereas I had been thinking that I was so echoing CWM/Borg&co. when I was talking about an emphasis on Easter rather than an emphasis on Good Friday, and Jesus' death being as a result of undermining the domination system rather than a requirement for us to be reconciled to God, etc. -- but on later reflection, I think part of what he was reacting to was what I said I hear when I hear hymns like "The Old Rugged Cross.")

During lunchtime phonecall today, I told Ari briefly about my morning, and of course I mentioned "The Old Rugged Cross," because even though I block it out such that I couldn't actually sing it for you from memory if I tried, it's totally my go-to example for classic blood atonement theology hymn (which is maybe unfair of me). She has a lot of positive associations with the hymn, but she has problems with the parts like "exchange it some day for a crown," and so we got talking about kingdom language/theology.

I've recently started reading Borg and Crossan's The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem (for CHPC adult ed), and so I talked some about what I learned from the first chapter of that book about Jerusalem and the Temple in Jesus' time and the peasants who were Jesus' audience.

I knew from other books that Borg purposely uses "kingdom," knowing that many of his progressive compatriots dislike it. In one paragraph in The Last Week, the authors pointedly state that Jesus used the term "kingdom of God" on purpose -- that "Jesus could have spoken of the family of God, the community of God, or the people of God, but, according to Mark, [Jesus] spoke of the kingdom of God" (p. 25, emphasis in original) specifically because it was a political as well as a religious metaphor: "To [Jesus'] hearers, it would have suggested a kingdom very different from the kingdoms they knew, very different from the domination systems that ruled their lives" (p. 25).

I said that I understand this but that I don't think it necessarily makes a strong case for us continuing to use kingdom language, because we don't hear that tension when we hear "kingdom." I said that we (middle-class white folks) hear "kingdom" and think happy shiny King Arthur.

Ari recommended that I read Horsley's Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder.

After she got back to her desk, she emailed me: "We should do a book study together. You know, since we have so many silent hours together that we need to fill." ♥
Tags: church: somerville: ucc: morning prayer, partners in crime, people: church: ian, religion: christianity, religion: language: kin(g)dom

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