Things have been crazy all around. Lent and all of its accompanying programs have hit hard especially as I promised M to do some teaching at her church. Actually, some of you would probably be interested in last Sunday’s course… The overall topic for Lent is life and politics in the time of Jesus with an eye to better understanding the Passion Narratives/Holy Week. I kicked it off with a big-picture overview: 1,000 years of Jewish history in just under 45 minutes. We went from David and the foundation of the United Kingdom down through the destruction of the Second Temple with repeated glances back at how David was a constant touchstone for understanding and constructing Israel’s political and religious identity. Great fun… I’ve also been working on other writings and projects that are massively overdue.
Hence, no blogging.
Hopefully this’ll change soon. In any case, I couldn’t not say something about the latest post at the Daily Episcopalian. Yes, it’s hard to find a good church, and modern parenting isn’t easy, but “home-churching” seems like a simplistic appeal to cafeteria religion (just take the parts you like, feel free to leave the rest) that falls short of the mark that we promised our children in Baptism.
Your comments on the idea of home churching brought to mind the wisdom of an 18th century Anglican priest much beloved in the regions of the church I frequent, John Wesley, which I use often in my battle against the “consumerisation” of the faith, especially in the U.S.: “…Christianity is essentially a social religion; and … to turn it into a solitary religion, is indeed to destroy it.” (Sermon 24, “Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, 4”)
The home-church piece would likely hurt Baudrillard’s brain. A perfect example of a simulacrum, a practice devoid of actual reference to what it represents, and the real practice completely irrelevant to the practitioners. The “ashes to go” and CWOB likely fall into this category as well.
“Ashes to go” is an important witness to the world. The imposition of ashes may be a 5th century Christian custom, but its theology speaks to all mortal nature.
Caelius, I think the question is not whether the imposition of ashes is still relevant, but whether divorcing it from the liturgy is doing justice to either the rite or the people receiving the ashes.
It’s too bad that the homechurching family profiled in the article had no exposure to Godly clergy growing up, who might have taught them the value of living in Christian community. Oh, wait . . .
Derek, I also get two kids to Mass and back by myself, every Sunday, and they have come to love that time, and love their church. It is one of the most fulfilling times of the week for me, as a dad. Pity the Fontaines didn’t have that growing up.
Ah, Kevin, you are as pompous an ass as ever you were. When will you cease currying wealth, power, and prestige?