Friday, November 12, 2004

Fingers in the Pie

I have to teach firstday school tomorrow. It’ll probably be just my kids who show up. Someone else is bogged down in report cards, another family is too tired to come out, another is taking a leave of absence to deal with family matters. The others have all stopped coming because of our chronic lack of space. Sigh.

Ah, but we’ll be there. And we’re gonna make us a world. A universe, actually. (Always think high concept.) I’ve got some play-dough, some paper plates, and the book “Big Momma Creates the World” which I like, not just because God is a woman, but because the little kid God on her hip keeps getting his little fingers in the pie too.

It fits well. The only image of God I have is that of a baby or toddler anyway. Which is why praying to God for things is such an odd concept to me. I imagine the response. Hopping, maybe, or blowing raspberries. Or bending over to peek through the legs like in the diaper commercials.

Yeah, it gives a whole new spin on the idea of “intelligent design”!

God giggling as s/he whirls the universe to expand. God wanting to play more, make more sparkly things, make them all go boom, laughing, then walking away to find something else to do. Tasting, spitting out, patting, turning. Watching it all, discovering new things, trying more. Thumb-prints, squishy toes, draw with a stick. Then tossing it all up like a balloon.


My kids should be good at this.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


What does a Quaker do with Remembrance Day? Though most churches still run a “Remembrance Day” service on this Sunday, very few seem to focus on the glory of war these days. If the messages posted on their signs are any indications, most seem to focus now on the need for peace. This is a welcome change.

In Meeting today, Kate spoke of the two acts that Jesus commissioned in his life: the washing of feet and the blessing of bread and wine. For historical reasons, the latter became the central ritual of Christianity. She saw a connection between the symbolism of this ritual and rhetoric about war.
The Last Supper act is understood by most Christians as an act of sacrifice and salvation, of bodies being broken and blood being shed, violence and sacrifice as a means to salvation. How easily this symbolism could be woven into the cry for war and military service: that violent sacrifice was the only path to salvation from evil.

How different the path of Western civilization might have been had the other act -- the washing of feet -- become the central ritual of Christianity.