At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

They wandered in the wilderness, in a solitary way: they found no citie to dwell in.--Ps. 107:4

Whether "citie" be taken literally or as metaphorical for the Church, this verse is sadly applicable to me right now. I was quickly rejected after a long-distance interview with a library in one of the world's major cities. Another application sent in over a month ago to another metropolitan library has so far been fruitless. As for church shopping, this monring I tried a Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) congregation that one of our student workers goes to. They meet at a building owned by Pentecostals, so the decor was appropriately tacky: shag carpeting, cushy chairs up on the dais, a holographic picture of Jesus stuck to the pulpit, patriotic posters with images of flags and bald eagles, a drum kit in the corner. The Disciples congregation consists of only a handful of extremely friendly people (perhaps a little desperately so). The service: a few hymns, some scripture readings, intercessions, and a sermon in which the pastor rejected the Markan pericope with the Syro-Phoenician woman. ("It is not fit to give the children's bread to the dogs.") Doesn't fit the character of Jesus as we know it from the rest of the Gospels, he reckoned. On the other hand, perhaps if it is historical it shows just how human Jesus was, subject to the prejudices of his time. How much God and how much man is Jesus? The pastor confessed ignorance. The Council of Nicea, in which Jesus was declared fully God and fully man, was a political maneuver designed by Constantine to bring unity to the Empire. Oh, and communion using grape juice and a dinner roll.

I won't be back.


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