Posted by: megshoeman | June 29, 2008

On A Dream

Hmm. Sometimes I listen to a Roman Catholic guy called Father John Corapi. He’s a real straight shooter, a former addict now clearly convicted to the good and preaching with a punch. I was tired as I listened the other day but he was saying something about the Eucharist and that being what it’s all about- this whole showing up to church thing.

So sleepily, I thought to myself, “Hm..what is it that’s missing when I get myself together and turn up week in and week out?” We celebrate the Lord’s Supper occasionally but mostly for us Presbyterians (and others) it’s mostly about the (W/w)ord proclaimed isn’t it? I guessed so, I guess and then maybe I took a nap.

But at some point I had this dream. I found my dreaming self in a sort of Orthodox (because I’ve entertained Eastern Orthodox types but I suppose even the subconsciousness of my mind couldn’t get close to the notion of my being Roman Catholic) worship gathering. There was no beautiful sanctuary, no incense, no particular physical light–just a dim conference room with dark red or blue carpet and maybe 15 people including an old seminary friend/ arch-enemy who’s interested in the Church Fathers. We all were reclining on couches and the priest said this a few times: “We’re going to have a good eucharist. We’ll have a good eucharist.” And that sounded like good news to me. “Oh,” I thought in the dream, “good. Good.”

So what is it then? A good word is a good word, isn’t it? And the Word to end them all cannot be divided. So what sounds sometimes so hollow?  Funny stories and dumb moral propositions never a very good sermon make as far as I’m concerned. But even the most theologically tough, spiritually sound sermon comes up short after all, doesn’t it? I wonder about this especially while I’m cleaning kennels–that is good time to think. And I don’t know but I think that perhaps that what feels like the missing piece points to the Protestant tendency to do so much talking, to place so much emphasis on proclaiming the word that we forget to allow the word to speak for himself.

Now this leads to the question of transubstantiation and all of that but we confess that Jesus is present in any case, don’t we? Let’s sometimes not bother with these debates. Let’s sometimes just keep quiet for a little while. Why not?


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