Today was one of those difficult days at church that offer a lot of food for thought.
I have just started reading Sue Monk Kidd’s ‘Dance of the Dissident Daughter’. I wanted to go to church and in my head turn all those masculine pronouns feminine or neutral. It turned out to be a bigger task than I could manage on the fly.
It doesn’t help that we don’t have gender neutral pronouns. Beyond that I really wanted to hear God as feminine. I’m so tired of Lords and Kings and Kingdoms, let’s have some lovely nurturing imagery for a change.
Two other coincidences interested me. It’s the Sunday before Veteran’s Day. I usually stay away from church on National Holidays because the blatant, self congratulatory nationalism makes my skin crawl. It would be OK if on other days we discussed the problems our nation has contributed to world wide.
To make matters worse, Veteran’s Day used to be Armistice Day. A day to celebrate the peace and end to violence at the end of WW1. Now we just pile on every war from then til now (a pile that grows more steeply every day) with a heroes party instead of reflecting on the fact that those fallen soldiers are victims of our failed foreign policy.
At least for the most part the hymns chosen were the good America songs, except for the Battle Hymn of the Republic which struck me as being divisive since it celebrated only one set of US soldiers.
The other strange coincidence was that today’s scripture reading was about women. It was about the bridesmaids who go to wait for the groom. Half of them don’t take any extra oil and run out. The other women won’t share with them and make them go back to town in the middle of the night to buy oil. By the time they get back, they have been shut out from the wedding feast.
Now I know what the story is referring to, that we should be ready for Christ’s return at any time, but I couldn’t help hearing it as a recrimination of today’s church.
Some of the girls run out of oil, and the others won’t share with them, causing them to be barred from the wedding feast. A kind of odd parable for a religion where God miraculously made a shortage of oil last for 8 days.
Sarah Palin a feminist Christian?