Day 43: Lots of Sabbath thoughts up in here

Today Krissy and Paul left which was sad.

Then we went to church. It was early church, which starts at 8:30. This actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Once I got past the waking up part it was kind of nice to go early in the morning and get it over with. But then it turned out to be communion Sabbath. I have to say that of all the Adventist traditions, foot washing is my least favorite (except for possibly the not wearing wedding bands thing.) First of all…while it doesn’t completely repulse me, I don’t really care to wash somebody’s feet. I’m all for service, but this isn’t really service…it’s doing something just cause. I don’t really want someone else washing my feet either for that matter. I don’t believe that when Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me” he was referring literally to washing each other’s feet. He was referring to serving others. Now…if some people feel blessed and fulfilled and whatnot from the Ordinance of Humility I say let them do it…but I don’t think it should be this great cornerstone tradition that everyone should be expected to take part in. I did take part for the first time in years and it wasn’t horrible but it didn’t hold any particular significance for me.

Communion DID get me to thinking about MY church a little. When I say my church I don’t mean the one I attend, since I’m not sure exactly what church that is. I mean the church I plan on starting so I don’t have to find a church to attend. Today I came up with a plan for how communion will work at my church. We are throwing foot washing out with the foot water. In its place we will actually do some act of service in the community. It will be something functional that actually affects people in a positive way…in other words, something that Jesus would have liked us to do in His memory. Then we will come back for the communion. But the communion meal is not going to be a quarter of a Wheat Thin and a thimble of off brand grape juice. It is going to be an actual meal….a BIG meal, like the one the disciples ate at the Last Supper. And there will be wine. And we will eat and drink and talk and commune as if it truly is our last supper cause you never know it just may be. And the other thing…at my church we will have communion EVERY week.

Then we stayed for Sabbath School which I haven’t been to in a minute. I actually quite enjoyed it. It was about Moses and the Israelites and the golden calf and what exactly the Second Commandment is telling us. This was sort of timely for me since I was just writing about this earlier in the week. The leader of the class had some things to say about the power of images and how much they tell us what to think about something. For instance, most of us, when we picture Jesus, see a white man with long hair in a white robe. Most of us realize this is not what Jesus actually looked like, but this image still holds power in our minds. The same thing for art work portraying the Second Coming. Lots of people think they have a pretty good grasp on what the Second Coming will look like, but in actuality they have just seen a bunch of paintings and their minds have interpreted this as an accurate representation. In actuality, nobody has a clue what such an event would possibly look like. The danger of humans dwelling too much on these images of God is that they limit His divinity to our own human conceptions. He made a pretty good case for this but it’s still hard for me to completely accept. I love a lot of religious art and anything else in the world that I see as a representation of God. I guess the idea should be to appreciate our human representations of God (because, let’s be honest, they are all we really have), but bear in mind that they are just a fraction of a whole.

Of course, I have my own theories on the Second Commandment that I touched on earlier this week. The Hebrew God seems to be very offended (and I realize I’m projecting human emotions onto a deity but so be it) by perceptions of passivity. Yahweh often reminds the Israelites of the things He has done (ie “I brought you out of Egypt.”) This is in contrast to the neighboring tribes, whose gods sat on a wall and didn’t do much of anything. When Israelites built graven images, even to be used in the worship of Yahweh, they were reducing God to just another of the local deities. I suppose this fits in pretty well with what the Sabbath School leader was talking about today. I sort of felt like sharing my thoughts but I didn’t because they were all a bunch of GC hot shots and best case scenario they would have been all impressed and asked me if I was a minister and I wasn’t in the mood for that shit today.

On the way home from church I shared my views on foot washing and Patslow got all worked into a frizzy about them. She basically said Jesus told us to wash each other’s feet so that’s what we do. She then said that foot washing is like a renewal of baptism and that God forgives our sins when we have our feet washed. I think this may be absurd but I would have to check. Either way, I responded that the Bible is pretty clear that the way we have our sins forgiven is to ask God for forgiveness, and if there is anything in there about foot washing being a means to forgiving our sins I’m not aware. Then she said foot washing doesn’t actually forgive our sins…it is just the symbolism of our sins being forgiven. To which I replied, “Wouldn’t that make it a graven image?” Then she said, “Ken, let’s go look at those other houses we almost bought.”

Any thoughts?

The rest of the day was sorta bleh. I miss Krissy and Paul now. We went for a two mile walk at the park in Columbia. We ate a pretty good Sabbath lunch. Lots of people came over and brought even MORE babies to the house. I swear it is like Babypalooza here. I’m honestly a little babied out. We had a party for Greg’s 3-year-old’s birthday. That was sort of cute. In the evening I met Isaac and Lauren (and their baby) for burgers. Then I came back to the house and we watched About Schmidt, probably not the best movie with my current age-obsession.

Tomorrow I will be driving home. I’m sort of sad. I’m not going to pretend that this week has been a rompin’ stompin’ good time or anything…it had its moments but as far as vacations go it wasn’t terribly exciting. But going home feels a little lonely. Still, I’m looking forward to the drive. It’s my favorite thing to do.

Now here’s this….

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One Response to Day 43: Lots of Sabbath thoughts up in here

  1. You just added to recent/current questioning of why I do things my religion does. I think there comes a point in your faith where it won’t grow any further until you decide whether you do things because you are told that is what you do by your organized religion and/or parents (or don’t do things you are told not to do) or whether you do things/don’t do things because you feel convicted personally that you should do them/not do them.

    This is a good post and I think you think things through well.

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