26.October.2014, #267

Erasmus was born this day in 1466.  He once wrote: "Nowadays the rage for possession has got to such a pitch that there is nothing in the realm of nature, whether sacred or profane, out of which profit cannot be squeezed."  Imagine, having written that 500 years ago, what he would think of us in the US now.  But I digress...

I tried to utilize a few different art forms for our worship, instead of the usual handful of songs.


I had my friend Ashley read "Teaching a Child the Art of Confession" by David Shumate; this set up the confession.  BTW Much thanks for Garrison Keillor for good poems among other things; I pulled this from The Writer's Almanac.

It is best not to begin with Adam and Eve. Original sin is
baffling, even for the most sophisticated minds. Besides,
children are frightened of naked people and apples. Instead,
start with the talking snake. Children like to hear what animals
have to say. Let him hiss for a while and tell his own tale.
They’ll figure him out in the end. Describe sin simply as those
acts which cause suffering and leave it at that. Steer clear of
musty confessionals. Children associate them with outhouses.
Leave Hell out of the discussion. They’ll be able to describe it
on their own soon enough. If they feel the need to apologize
for some transgression, tell them that one of the offices of the
moon is to forgive. As for the priest, let him slumber a while


We invited the children back into the main room and I read aloud The Pumpkin Patch Parable as a set up to the assurance.

Later, during some extended music, I had Ashley read another poem.  We sang In the Presence of A Holy God, then she read this poem by Denise Levertov, called "Suspended", followed by 10,000 Reasons (minus the last verse, obv).

I had grasped God’s garment in the void
But my hand slipped
On the rich silk of it.
The ‘everlasting arms’ my sister loved to remember
Must have upheld my leaden weight
From falling, even so,
For though I claw at empty air and feel
Nothing, no embrace,
I have not plummeted.


One more thing...

Last year I read a book about a guy named Georges Jacques Danton.  Fascinating person, fascinating book.  He was also born today, in 1759.  He once declared: "After bread, education is the first need of the people."  I find that hard to disagree with.

Posted on October 31, 2014 .