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

in an effort to actually post more...

I spent most of today on Twitter reading about #AntonioMartin. Before that it was #DontreHamilton. I tried to make a list and oh, so many...

As per usual, December has been busy with work, and I haven't been especially ~feeling~ the Christmas lead-up. This is probably exacerbated by my being in another "the more I engage with the Bible, the less I identify as a Christian" phase.

I went to Christmas Eve service at my mom's church tonight, expecting the usual warm fuzzy kind of service.

We sang "I Heard the Bells," which I don't think we've sung at Christmas Eve before (though we often do at December Singspiration), which pleased me because we don't usually touch on the sadness, the darkness, the fact that all the Christmas joys we sing of have yet to be fully realized.
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th’unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth, I said,
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.

Kevin (the pastor) gave brief reflections after each of the readings, and fine, talk about Jesus as fulfillment of promises, I won't argue with you in this moment about why I feel uncomfortable uncomplicatedly invoking Jesus as fulfillment of Jewish prophecies...

We sang "O Holy Night," though we definitely struggled with it (and not just the high notes in the refrain), which was a bummer to me as some of it is so good. I was pleased that we got to sing
[Her] law is love and [Her] gospel is peace.
Chains [she] shall break, for the slave is our [sibling].
And in [her] name all oppression shall cease.
(Yeah, I didn't edit the Longfellow poem when I c&p'ed it above, but I totally sang she pronouns for Deity throughout the service tonight, as is my tendency when ~inclusifying on the fly.)

In his reflection, Kevin called us back to that bit and talked about how the 2 sins that God was forever chastising Israel about were idolatry & oppression of the poor and the widows ... and I was so stoked and yet all he went on to say was blah blah blah Jesus as fulfillment of promise. Earlier, he had talked about animals in the creche and Saint Francis and Isaiah's promise of the redemption of all Creation, so I was left with the implication that "When God/Jesus redeems all of Creation ... at the Second Coming ... then the oppressed will be raised up etc. [not that we talked about the Magnificat at all] but until then just hang out and trust in God's eventual promise."

When I talked to my mom afterward, she said that Kevin's been talking about discipleship a lot on Sundays, which actually makes it feel worse to me because dozens of people this is the one time you're gonna get them this season and you don't take the opportunity to talk about God's call on their lives? Great, maybe some people learned some new things, but I was left with nothing about why Jesus' birth into the world matters to us now.

Earlier, when the choir director intro'ed "Joseph's Song" (the choir selection), he said something about how we often don't hear much about Joseph, and in my head, I was like, " #WhatAboutTheMen? Really?" The song was mostly Joseph talking about Mary and the baby, so it wasn't that bad -- and I do recognize that there are problematics to erasing Joseph out of the story -- but so often in conversations about folks on the margins/folks who are oppressed, people jump in to try to make sure we also talk about the privileged people and how they matter too, so I'm primed.

Frustrated with the almost-but-not-quite-there mention of Christ's mission of ending oppression, I came out of the service wanting to make my own Christmas (Eve)* service about the inbreaking of God into messy humanity, making Christ's home amongst the marginalized -- possibly incorporating the Jesus wasn't born in a stable argument -- and because I'm me and was cranky about #WhatAboutTheMen and how we skipped Mary's Magnificat in our journey through Luke (1:26-37, 2:1-7, and 2:8-16, but no 1:39/46-55), I wanted to queer the grown-up that baby Jesus would become (trans girl stone butch of my bff's heart or something).

* I admit it hadn't occurred to me until I went to write this just now how this service might be different if it were a Christmas Eve vs. Christmas Day (or elsewhere Christmastide) service ... what it is that we're maybe trying to get at with a Christmas Eve service that might be different from e.g. a Christmas Day service.
Tags: #blacklivesmatter, church: norwood: ucn, holidays: christmas, issues, religion: christianity

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