[CAUMC] on ritual [2008-01-10]
Eric led group tonight as Trelawney has been miserable with fibroid stuff. I got there about 6:20, right when he did, so we chatted while he made dinner (w00t, mac&cheese from a box).
We read The Presentation of Jesus In The Temple (Luke 2:21-40, NRSV). Attentive readers may note that Tiffany preached on this, focusing on disruption, a couple weeks ago
. The Reflections from the book Eric had photocopied (p. 74-75) focused on the idea of ritual -- "Essential to Judaism is the praise of God in all of life. The Jewish law taught that God was to be honored in one's rising up and lying down, in going out and coming in, in how one dressed and what one ate. The danger, however, was always that adherence to external requirements could mask a disregard for purity of heart and sincerity in one's love of neighbor."
"The marking of both daily and special events with rituals that recognize the sacredness of life and the presence of God in the everyday is practically extinct."
I think sometimes that I would like to establish a personal practice of silently saying grace before meals.
The Reflections also pointed to a saying attributed to Jesus in the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus
(see M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament
, p. 27): "Wheresoever there are [two, they are not without] God: and where there is one alone I saw I am with him. Lift the stone and there shalt thou find me: cleave the wood and I am there." The commentary points out that "The last part of this saying may speak either to the cosmic presence of Christ or to the sanctity of work (contrast Eccl 10:9)."
In discussion Mike said something, referencing an image of God in a webcomic he reads, and Michelle said Dinosaur Comics
and he said no he meant Sinfest
, and we got off on a bit of a tangent and Eric said no it was fine, "I just wanted you to have a point."
In Affirmations, Mike said to me: "I love the way you think" and pointed to the way that I can talk about how something doesn't quite work and then about the problems of the critique I just made, calling it "a few layers of meta-analysis." I said I wasn't always sure it made as much sense aloud as it did in my head, so I was glad.
Seth said in his Affirmation of me: "For someone your age, you're very mature."