Saturday, November 06, 2004

Remembrance

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.

1 Comments:

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Larry said...

Yes, yes, Nancy. Your blog came through instantaneously. I'm so glad. I've seen enough of your blog to know that we have a lot to talk about.

Blessings from all the Kwakerscripture crowd.

 

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