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…
The culmination of our advent candle liturgy at Dundonald Methodist for this year. It can be used at a Christmas eve service or on Christmas morning... We'll be using it tomorrow...
Hope, peace, joy,
and love. Four weeks, four candles, four promises made by God, and all of them
find fulfillment in the one we light this morning: the Christ candle.
In Christ we find
the hope of transformation, the peace that this world cannot give, the fulfillment
of joy and the love that embraces us in all our diversity and fallibility. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was
made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has
not overcome it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming
into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made
through him, the world d…
My friend Stocki has already sent you, and our other political leaders, an open letter, and social media suggests that many agree
with what he says (including myself), but I was already writing this when I saw
his, and whilst it covers similar ground, and fewer may read this, I want to add my tuppence (especially
since it takes a lot to get me writing these days!)
And at the heart of it is this, I recognise that you both
have a legitimate electoral mandate. The big question is what you do with it. Both
of you have made great play of the fact that people voted for you on the basis
of your statements before the election. Now I have no desire to get into the
legitimacy of those positions. You campaigned on them and you each were elected
on those platforms. Both of you grew your vote in a highly polarised election,
and whilst the DUP lost a significant number of seats they are still the
So you both have a mandate.
And so far in the negotiations you …