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

[CWM] Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost [2007-08-26]

Xochitl guest-preached [Tiffany had flown back from Wichita that morning] on Luke 9:51-62 (yes, going back in the lectionary a bit). That is a hard text.

The part about burying the dead I immediately wondered what Amy-Jill Levine would say about that, because at one of the Convo sessions she talked about how Christians tend to over-emphasize the importance of Jewish rules about "uncleanness" and talked about how something making you unclean didn't make it bad, using as examples (1) sex and (2) the fact that contact with a dead body makes one unclean but that burying the dead is a mitzvah, a commandment.

Xochitl started with talking about how our translation says that Jesus' face was turned toward Jerusalem, and how a really accurate translation would actually have each of those first three sentences would use the phrase 'set his face toward.'

She talked about how Jesus had given the disciples instructions on what to do in places that did not receive them ('shake the dust from your feet'...) but they were still stuck in their old way of thinking -- and she said they actually had precedent for that because Elijah did in fact call down fire on a Samaritan village.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
She said that the would-be follower said he would follow Jesus "wherever" and that Jesus was pointing out that they were going "nowhere," that the road ahead was uncertain. She was somewhat more articulate than that.

Throughout, she incorporated quotes from "Mr. Scrapp" in Million Dollar Baby (which I haven't yet seen, but I snagged quotes from IMDb for repost), talking about the similarities between boxing and Christianity.

Boxing is backwards:
"Boxing is an unnatural act. Cos everything in it is backwards. You wanna move to the left, you don't step left, you push on the right toe. To move right, you use your left toe. Instead of running from the pain - like a sane person would do, you step into it."
I think her "backwards" examples for Christianity were the usual -- if someone strikes you, offer him/her the other cheek; love your enemies, etc.

You have to unlearn the old ways, down to your bones:
"To make a fighter you gotta strip them down to bare wood: you can't just tell 'em to forget everything you know if you gotta make 'em forget even their bones... make 'em so tired they only listen to you, only hear your voice, only do what you say and nothing else... [snip, though I think she did read the whole thing]. Then you gotta show 'em all over again. Over and over and over... till they think they're born that way."

"If there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."
After this last one she talked a little about how Christianity's different from boxing in this sense because Christianity is a communal activity.

***

Call to Worship:
Assemble before God, our rock and refuge. [At this I was totally like, "That's from this morning! :) "]
Come together to listen for the voice of our Creator.
The Word of God shakes the foundation of the earth.
We expect to be changed by God's message to us.
God rescues us from cruelty and injustice.
In steadfast love, God delivers us from our enemies.
We remember the rich heritage we have received.
We give thanks for God's grace and mercy.
This is God's holy day, a time to lay aside narrow interests.
How will we honor God in word and deed?
We will delight in the Word and works of our God.
We will join together in praise and good works.

The opening hymn was "We Are Called," which I like. It's very up-beat.
We are called to act with justice,
we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another;
to walk humbly with God!
We had a guest "organist" because Tallessyn was on vacation with her family. Cassandra, who's the organist at Jeremy's church.
For the Special Music, she did this very up-beat piece, which was basically just repetitions of: "What does the Lord require of you? I want to know. Justice, kindness; walk humbly with your God." but I really liked it. At one point Jeremy started doing double-clapping between lines (I'm guessing she does this hymn a lot) and we joined in.

The closing hymn was "For the Healing of the Nations." I thought I remembered liking this at Convo, but not so much.
It had a familiar tune which I realized later was "God of Grace and God of Glory" (though I also sang bits of "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" in trying to place the tune).

***

Over dinner, Will was saying, "Isn't Cassandra great?" and I thought he was being snarky, but then I realized that she was sitting just a few seats away from us and he was being sincere.
     "I forgot that enthusiasm is your default setting," I said to him. (And it's entirely true.)

Will got his hair done like our ASL instructor, and apparently he cut it himself and went to Blaine for the dye job. The Blaine woman, Brooke, said something about him being talented (about him having cut his own hair). Sean giggled, and I kinda snorted.
He must have made some teasing retort toward Sean, 'cause Marla said, "Elizabeth's the one who snorted!"
Will: "But I expect it from her." [leans in toward me fondly -- we were sitting next to each other]
It's good to have a bad reputation :)

Later, Will was talking about how Rob keeps breaking martini glasses. Rob was sitting a couple seats down from us and of course then got in on this conversation.
Marla [to Rob]: "You were just re-enacting General Conference." [There was something about breaking the chalice, I didn't get the whole story.]
Tiffany [sitting a couple seats past Rob, at one end of the table]: "No, I think I was talking about pot."
That was priceless.
Tags: church: somerville: cambridge welcoming, people: church: marla, people: church: sean, people: pastors: tiffany
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