St Petersburg, Russia, November 2004
(Just because the photo feels autumnal)
It is snowing this afternoon, though most of its seems to melt on landing.
Many readers here will already have been alerted to Jenny Plane Te Paa's address at the "Drenched in Grace" conference in England. Don't you just want to bask, splash, and soak in the phrase "drenched in grace"? We are such pathetic minimalists in a world of God's superabundance. We are drenched in grace already; we need to acknowledge it and live like it.
JaneR pointed me to Jenny's speech and I went over to Inclusive Church to read it. Here is one paragraph to whet your appetite:
We are I believe being challenged in the current circumstance not so much to focus too intently and singularly on the bad behaviour of the few, but rather to focus anew the very good behaviour of the many whose exemplary regard for the sacredness of all others whom God has created points us all toward that way in which God would probably say that grace is to be truly expressed.
On a different topic, did you remember this is Buy Nothin Day? It is one way to protest our destructive consumerism.
“We have a saying in America: If you’re in a hole, stop digging. . . . I’m not sure I should have said that."
Yes, that's our beloved Donald Rumsfeld, and you can hear this and others of his famous quotes when you purchase a Rummy doll for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Yule.
You know, you can't make this stuff up. [Rolls eyes.]
While specific manifestations are often a cause for dismay, I am quite pro-marriage. I am not, however, going to say it should be available to everyone because there are lots of folks, or couplings, that really should not be encouraged in this direction (though it has nothing to do with the genders involved). There needs to be a lot more attention given the whole "soberly and advisedly" side of things if you ask me, which you didn't.
I do think our whole theology around marriage is rather piece-meal, shoddy, inconsistent, and frequently either stupid or heretical, but that's neither here nor there, nor even remotely where I'm heading here.
I am not so gung-ho on weddings, especially the excesses encouraged by the wedding industry. [Shudder. Snarl.] I have enjoyed officiating at some weddings where the couples really belonged together and they were sensible and the whole thing wasn't some status statement or cloying over-the-top confection. Pre-marital counseling is a lot of work, wedding rehearsals are a pain in the ass, and the minister's role in the whole thing is often thankless. I rather think one of the more comforting canons gives us the right to refuse to solemnize matrimony with no stated reason.
Burial of the dead, on the other hand, is one of the opportunities to be of comfort in the hardest of hard spots. While I prefer to stay away from the wedding business, I have often said "I'll bury anybody."
All of which is very rambling background to expressing here my admiration for Mad Priest's pastoral practice on funerals. He speaks eloquently of it at OCICBW. "I love a good funeral" is the title of the post. He is a good priest (and it would be an honor to have him "plant" me, but he's in Newcastle and I'm in New Mexico). So, to borrow a phrasing common on blogs:
What Maddie said.
He clearly has it right.
[Plant is a euphemism but not, as I am using it, for anything in violation of the canons or ethical policies of either the diocese I live in or the one in which I am canonically resident, so those of you with wicked minds, just don't even think of going there. My namesake said "to the pure all things are pure" and there is a rather contrary corollary to that which frequently applies to the reprobates I run around with. Well, why do you think I run around with them?]
Elizabeth (whom Maddie calls "that Kaeton woman") has a thoughtful musing on class and worldview and religious perspective.
Is it not interesting that W doesn't think Musharraf has "crossed the line" even though the General forcibly replaced the Supreme Court and has jailed scads of lawyers? Does this mean we could get a general to replace SCOTUS and undo W's appointment? Would that be OK? Just fantasizing here, folks. Great article by scarecrow at the link, btw.
Bunrab, the filthiest toy in the house, learns to sympathize with +Cantuar over at Padre Mickey's Dance Party in a classic holiday re-run.
Hope y'all have been having a good day. The snow continues to fall.