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

CAUMC: Session 3

[This past Monday.]

I told Trelawney how my dad had picked up my tv stand for me but I was gonna have to have my roommate help me carry it up the stairs.  A little while later she asked something like "Was it nice to see your family?" and I said yes without really thinking, 'cause of course I enjoy seeing my family, but then I realized that she had thought that I had actually seen my father that day.  I explained he had just dropped it off on my porch and that if I had actually been there when he came by my tv would be in my living room now rather than on the middle of my stairs.

She asked something about how often I see my family and I said something like, "Um, never?"  Off her look, I told her I was used to getting horrified looks from people as a reaction to that, and she said it wasn't that, that she's interested in people's relationships with their families, and I tried to explain that I love my parents and get along with them really well and we definitely stay in touch, I just don't have any reason to physically see them in person.

"Yeah, not everybody gets me and Zoe at first glance."


Chapter 2: Disciples Break Bread Together

Yoder argues re: Jesus' "Whenever you do this, do it in my memory":
The meal just before Jesus' death was in a Passover setting, but what the disciples did in his memory was not a once-a-year event.
     What Jesus must have meant, and what the record indicates his disciples took him to mean, was "whenever you have your common meal."  The meal Jesus blessed that evening and claimed as his memorial was their ordinary partaking together of food for the body.  (16, emphasis in original)
He goes on to extrapolate from this a lot, but that was the part that really stuck with me.  It seems so powerful to me.  Plus it fits with my idea that God is everywhere and that our ethics/morals/ideals should inform all that we say/do/think.  It also reminds me of that really powerful monologue of Jesus' about being everywhere, from near the end of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot [p. 101 of the paperback]:
Right now, I am in Fallujah. I am in Darfur. I am on Sixty-third and Park having dinner with Ellen Barkin and Ron Perelman . . . Right now, I'm on Lafayette and Astor waiting to hit you up for change so I can get high. I'm taking a walk through the Rose Garden with George Bush. I'm helping Donald Rumsfeld get a good night's sleep . . . I was in that cave with Osama, and on that plane with Mohammed Atta . . . And what I want you to know is that your work has barely begun. And what I want you to trust is the efficacy of divine love if practiced consciously. And what I need you to believe is that if you hate who I love, you do not know me at all. And make no mistake, "Who I Love" is every last one. I am every last one. People ask of me: Where are you? Where are you? . . . Verily I ask of you to ask yourself: Where are you? Where are you?

Okay, so back to the play-by-play. 

Talking about the debates over Transubstantiation etc., Yoder says:
Theologians were concerned in the sixteenth century for a detailed theoretical definition of the meaning of certain special actions and things, called "sacraments," within the special set-apart world of the "religious."  The underlying notion---namely the idea that there is a special realm of "religious" reality---so that when you speak special prescribed words, peculiar events happen, was not a biblical idea.  It underlies the religion/politics split with which we began our introduction.  It supports one notion of the sacraments as very special religious or ritualistic activities.  It had been taken over from paganism by Christian centuries later than the New Testament, when paganism had replaced Judaism as the cultural soil of the Christian movement.  (14)
I would be really interested to learn more about the idea of this coming from paganism.

Yoder also says:
     If we had all day, we could work our way back down through one stratum of Christian thought and practice after another, much as an archaeologist works down through a tell.  We could ask how and when the straightforward meaning of the Eucharist was overlaid by ritualistic or superstitious notions borrowed from the other religions and philosophical assumptions of the ancient world.  We could ask how the synthesis of Christianity and empire beginning in the fourth century had to replace the economic meaning of breaking bread together with something else.  The shifts we would find would be analogous to others that took place in the meaning of baptism, which we shall note later.  (15)
Hi, could I read the book that takes us through that whole "if we had all day..." please?  kthx.

Yoder talks a lot about the common meal as core to economic and social justice and includes lots of historical examples.  Yadda yadda.  He brings in the idea of the Jubilee, which I had forgotten about, and points out that "Every economic order, including capitalism, provides for certain categories of forgiveness and debt amnesty" (25).  He also says:
     Luke summarizes his account in Acts 4:34: "There was not a needy person among them."  He probably mean that as an echo and fulfillment of Deuteronomy 15:4: "There will be . . . no one in need among you."  That basic needs are met is a mark of the messianic age.  (20-21)
He goes on to posit that:
     As we saw already in the witness of 1 Corinthians 11, the Lord's Supper provides ritual leverage for the condemnation of economic segregation.  Its context is good news and the work of Christ, which is being experienced already in its first fruits.  The grounds for equalization is not (as in much modern Christian concern for economic justice) the vision of an original wholesome order already present in creation and needing to be restored.  It is rather the beginning fulfillment of the promise of the messianic age.  (22)
Yoder further argues against the "Protestant doctrine of vocation" which keeps the "religious" and "worldly" spheres separate (see also Eigengesetzlichkeit der kulturgebiete, which he translates as "the autonomy of each realm of culture").  According to this doctrine, Christians should perform their jobs according to the rules of those jobs rather than the rules of Christ.  Of course, one of Yoder's major themes in this book is that the separation of these two spheres is a false one and the same rules (i.e., those of Christ) apply in both; so Christians should find ways to practice Christ's love within their vocations.  He also points out that "The notion of an order of creation is not necessarily all wrong, but since sin came into the world, we cannot discern which traits of 'the way things are' are the way God wants them and which are fallen, disobedient, and oppressive" (26-7).

That about covers the chapter.

In discussion, Trelawney mentioned that women were usually not allowed at meal with the men -- except for prostitutes provided for the after-dinner entertainment -- so that's a large reason why Jesus was accused of hanging out with prostitutes, because he included women as full and equal participants in all he did -- though he definitely did hang out with prostitutes, since he hung out with the leastest people.


At affirmations, Trelawney said I was independent, even used the term "courageous spirit" -- which I'm sure was in reference to our conversation about my living apart from my family, but it made me laugh inside because it's so not a way I think of myself (cf. the supreme irony of my getting "fearless friend" at Tangent).
Tags: church: caumc: ya group, church: caumc: ya group: body politics

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