Kent Runge writes:
Is confabulation similar to conflatulation? Is that Strodtbeck’s butt?
Please post some more, y’all, so we can get this clothed, uh, goat you know what off the front page.
Jason Blair writes:
Jake, that got an audible chuckle. Thankfully no one at work asked what was so funny. :)
As for all y’all talking out of your butts…
Andy C writes:
I like the idea that a church would stop ignoring lament.
That’s really the impulse behind it. It is basically a worship service where it’s ok to not be ok. I know they should all be like that and what not, but it is an opportunity through the liturgy to provide space for grief. The grief could come from various spots, including death. One year we had three widows from the community, all in their 40′s, who had lost husbands in the past year. Christmas was a tough deal for them. The three of them walking up to the altar, arm in arm to light a candle was powerful.
The thing I like best about the service is I think it provides the perfect opportunity for the gospel. We have explicitly stated that life can suck. You don’t have to pretend things are ok. We openly acknowledge the world is broken. Then I can proclaim that it is exactly this broken world that Jesus entered 2,000 years ago. There was the slaughter of the infants, for crying out loud. God comes to us in the very midst, at that exact spot of our hurt, grief, and brokenness. The good news of Christmas isn’t that you have to pull yourself together. The good news is that God comes to us where we are a mess. Incarnation.
So, as much as I really enjoy the whole candle light silent night thing, I really like giving the Blue Christmas message better.
I actually laughed out loud, Jake. Not too much, but it was audible.
I think the focus is on people who lost a loved one in the last year since Christmas can be a rough time for them. I like the idea that a church would stop ignoring lament. But you should wait for someone with actual experience with it to explain because I might the talking out of my butt.
Kent Runge writes:
Josh…the stuff you drag out of your butt…
Would somebody sitting near Jake take him aside, buy him a beer (or maybe something stronger) and explain the meaning of the word: “metaphor” He seems to understand the meaning of the word “guilt”, so it shouldn’t be much of a stretch. Okay, now after you drink that beer and contemplate the whole metaphor thing sit down and ask yourself whether you have control issues (I’m referring to the whole thing about how giving needs to be filtered through institutions).
I read some sort of research, probably funded by Coors & Folger’s, targeted toward students that stated that beer makes you more creative and coffee more productive. I’ve been very creative this evening, not metaphorically, literally.
Andy C, my only reframe of Fitch would be: “Celebrity leadership was the death knell of evangelicalism in America.” 1.) it’s all in the past and 2.) evangelicalism isn’t a church, never was, it’s a political party.
Jake Stone writes:
Is that a solemn service where people feeling the “holiday blues” show up to just let it out, basically? Cry or just sit in stunned silence at the direction their year has gone and how terrible their lives are, etc etc?
We have that at my church, but it’s all year long and we just call it Mass.
OK, so I’m not a Methodist…
Well, what are you waiting for? :-)
Andy, email me your Blue Christmas stuff. My last church did one my last Advent there but wasn’t able to go because I was sick. I’ve been thinking about doing one but just haven’t been motivated. If I start planning now I might do it next year. Oh, and explain it to Chris.
We’re on the internet, you guys aren’t actually sitting at a bar on your laptops, are you? Are you?
Now I wanna take a picture of myself tonight, drinking a beer at a bar and posting to this place on my iPad, just to set the record straight.
Jake Stone writes:
Whoa whoa whoa hey now whoa hey whoa.
In my experience, giving money directly to the poor (as opposed to an organized charitable effort) generally results in the poor doing goofy stuff like… I dunno, the stuff that got them poor in the first place. That is a generalization and a bit of a cliche, obviously, but it still rings fairly true. The “Christian” notion of patting the poor on the back and saying “there there, it’s not your fault” is condescending as hell. So what actions are we supposed to take to help the poor? Give them our cash, no questions asked? Or maybe help support them while helping them support themselves, at which point we stop supporting them?
It’s wild to me that somebody encouraging people to better themselves can be accused of being compassionate, but there it is. Because Jesus never used being financially responsible as an analogy for getting to heaven.
I dunno. Somebody offer to buy me a beer too. We’re on the internet, you guys aren’t actually sitting at a bar on your laptops, are you? Are you?