Dialogues, monologues, sketches, poems, rants, theological and liturgical bits and bobs and miscellaneous other verbal doodles...
Santa, God and Satan
A few days ago I overheard this conversation which Sally later posted as her fb status update:
Sally: So do you think Santa is a real person?
Ciaran: What?? You can't disprove Santa is real. Well you can, but then you would crush my childhood dreams and I will bring Childline down on your head like a hurricane.
Everyday life in the Campton household.
Anyway, a few days before I overheard another conversation on a bus which included the line:
"I gave up believing in God shortly after I gave up believing in Santa and the Tooth Fairy."
I'm sure you've come across similar, and if not, spend 5 minutes looking at the comments on many "Christian" contributions to YouTube or other open-access Christian website.
Such an attitude to the idea of God reflects more on our "consumerist" attitude to God... he's there to bless us and to turn painful experiences (like losing a tooth) into gain (hopefully financial!).
If you want to start debating with someone on the back of statements of this kind then this post by Michael Patton over on Pen and Parchment last March may be of interest... It certainly makes a change from my younger days when it only took Santa to be mentioned in evangelical circles for someone to mount a spiritual high-horse in which the fact that poor old St Nicholas' modern monicker is an anagram of Satan, would be the clinching argument concerning the evils of the modern Christmas, although those arguments are still out there... (everything's out there on the internet if you are prepared to waste time looking for it).
However, perhaps before debating with non-theists about the logical inconsistencies of their Santa/God analogy, we could have a look at how we who claim to be theists, approach God... Because this erroneous understanding of God as a cosmic-Santa, has not arisen purely in the minds of non-theists spontaneously without "cause", but is probably founded on the fact that we in the church often talk about him and treat him in such a way, spending more time on our Christmas prayer lists, than in listening to him... More time trying to get him to work for us than in truly worshipping him...
Perhaps if people outside the church saw us worshipping the God of scripture rather than a God with a fluffy beard who will bless us (or otherwise) on the basis of whether we are naughty or nice then perhaps they might take us, and God, more seriously.
ps. Am I the only person in the western world who has never seen "Elf"?
Don't often post other people's stuff here... But I found this so powerful that I thought I should. It's a performance poem based on John 4: 4-30, and I have attached the original YouTube video below. A word for women, and men, everywhere... "to be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known."
I am a woman of no distinction of little importance. I am a women of no reputation save that which is bad.
You whisper as I pass by and cast judgmental glances, Though you don’t really take the time to look at me, Or even get to know me.
For to be known is to be loved, And to be loved is to be known. Otherwise what’s the point in doing either one of them in the first place?
I WANT TO BE KNOWN.
I want someone to look at my face And not just see two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears; But to see all that I am, and could be all my hopes, loves and fears.
But that’s too much to hope for, to wish for, or pray for So I don’t, not anymore.
Now I keep to myself And by that I mean the pain that ke…
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful... Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
John 15:1-8 (ANIV)
In the mid 19th century, while Ireland was laid waste by potato blight, imported from America, France was devastated by another American pest…
A short responsive psalm for us as a call to worship on Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday, and given that it was pouring with rain as I headed into church this morning the first line is an important remembrance that the rain we moan about is an important component of the fruitfulness of the land we live in:
You tend the land and water it And the earth produces its abundance.
You crown each year with your bounty, and our storehouses overflow with your goodness.
The mountain meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are filled with corn;
Your people celebrate your boundless grace They shout for joy and sing.