My First Lutheran Cruise

By Scott Keith

(Hello, blogosphere. This little piece of satire was sent to me by a former student who for understandable reasons wishes to remain nameless. I hope you enjoy his first contribution to The Jagged Word.)

My First Lutheran Cruise:

Day 1: Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you so much for buying my ticket to the S.S.S.S.S.F.S.G. (Steam Ship Sola Scriptura Sola Fide Sola Gratia) Luther; I’m having a really good time on the open seas. I’m normally afraid of the ocean, but I feel safe and secure within the theologically reinforced hull of this LCMS-sanctioned cruise ship. There are even a couple windows in case anyone decides to look outside. However, that rarely happens since there is so much great stuff happening inside. I was grateful to find out that my room was in the very back of the boat. Actually, now that I think of it, that’s where most of the people are staying. I heard rumors that there might be some rooms near the front of the boat, but I believe that they are mostly unoccupied or filled with the few non-Lutherans that are on the cruise. 

Day 5: Dear Mom and Dad,

The staff members on the ship are so nice! They’ve all been called, commissioned, and synodically certified, so I know I can trust them. We’ve got a ship pastor, DCE, DPM, DCO, DYFM, and DSPD (Director of Swabbing the Poop Deck).

Day 12: Dear Mom and Dad,

The S.S.S.S.S.F.S.G. Luther is starting to feel like a home to me. Although I am one of the few people here under the age of 60, I fit right in at our first ship-wide potluck dinner (we have those at least once a month before our ship-wide voters meetings). We like to call them our PSVMPs (Pre-Ship-wide Voters Meeting Potlucks). I met at least one-hundred people who knew you guys or someone else in our congregation back home. A couple of them were actually distantly related to us! Speaking of fitting in at potlucks (or not fitting in, actually), I discovered that our cruise is extremely diverse. Out of the six-hundred people aboard, about 450 are German-Lutheran and 140 are Norwegian, and then there are ten foreigners who didn’t really know what they signed up for. Thankfully everyone was really nice and outgoing to these guests. A couple people even went as far as saying hello.

Day 17: Dear Mom and Dad,

Today was my turn to volunteer in the ship’s nursery. Luckily, there were a very small number of children for me to look after. However, one of the kids was not Lutheran, so I ended up having to separate him from the others since they refused to play nice with him. When the parents came to pick him up, I was shocked to discover that he had not been baptized yet. I insisted that they baptize him immediately in the ship’s baptismal font (with the help of the pastor, of course—we wouldn’t want to risk messing up the complex instructions that Jesus gave us concerning Baptism). They politely refused and walked away.

Day 30: Dear Mom and Dad,

One of my favorite parts of the cruise is waking up every morning to go to the complimentary worship service. Everyone gathers together and sings in unison to the Holy Trinity with a rousing selection of our favorite hymns. I’ve recommended “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” almost every day. I love the melodious sound of the ship’s organ. Every once in a while, the crew offers a contemporary worship service, but I usually choose to skip it. God forbid I ever let any emotion enter into heart while I joyfully sing unto the Lord.

Day 40: Dear Mom and Dad,

I just wanted to tell you that I love you. I’m not sure if I will make it back or if you will even get this letter. Today, some people began to panic when they realized that we were headed for an enormous iceberg. The captain reassured us that the hull was protected with sound doctrine, so it was impossible for the ship to be breached or destroyed. Some of the non-Lutherans that were aboard begged the captain to change his course to avoid a collision, but he calmly and faithfully replied, “We’ve been sailing this route for the last one-hundred years. We’re not going to budge.” The non-Lutherans were the first to take to the lifeboats and leave. Then went the international folk. Then some of the young families with children. I chose to stick it out with the rest of the faithful believers. The impact wasn’t too bad. The captain was right; the ship was indestructible. We smashed our way though a good portion of the ice before we got stuck in the middle of it. Now we wait.

Day 80: Dear Mom and Dad,

We are still stuck in the ice. We considered calling the coastguard or some other outside organization for help, but we decided that the risk of unionism or syncretism was too great, so we chose to keep our problem to ourselves.

Day 100: Dear Mom and Dad,

Things are looking pretty grave on the ship right now. People are starting to go mad. I often hear screams of, “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?” echoing throughout the halls. At one point, a woman tried to take charge and give us instruction on how to get out of the ice, but she was quickly beaten over the head with several rolled up copies of Paul’s first epistle to Timothy.

Day 144: Dear Mom and Dad,

People are dropping like flies. Not from lack of rations—we have plenty of wine and wafers left—but mainly from old age. The coast guard sent two boats and a helicopter, but we resolutely declined and told them that God will save us. He should be taking me home any minute now. I’ll see you in California or heaven.

Love,

Martin

24 comments

  1. This piece seems to poke fun at stereotypes and caricatures, and by the end, does that poorly. Perhaps someone from within confessional Lutheranism, having a broader view of church history, could help this former student understand what is attempting to be satirized. Then perhaps, it would be more effective in both content and humor.

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  2. Seems to me that a fire at sea would be the chiefest concern of this imagined ship, since it’s apparently made of straw. Are there real concerns about the LCMS? Sure. Should they be discussed openly? Absolutely. But straw man arguments and caricatures aren’t exactly constructive. Not to mention that whole thing about the 8th Commandment (but the author doesn’t appear interested in learning, “What does this mean?”).

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  3. I find this kind of satire stupid, but I suppose the writer thinks he is funny and quite astute. In this age of “Family Guy” and media insanity, nothing is sacred or serious, and these things spill over into our spiritual life as well.

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  4. If there is one thing that is going to be the death of LCMS, it’s a refusal to be self-critical.

    I’m in the AALC, not LCMS, but I read LCMS blogs, books, etc., because they are bigger and have more resources. The reason we ended up at an AALC church is in some ways due to the issues you’ve raised above.

    I went looking for a Lutheran church for a few reasons, but it wasn’t easy to find one.

    The first time we checked out an LCMS church, they had a traditional service. I was open to it, but my wife’s response was, “too Catholic.” We stuck around for the service, but both before and after the service, not a single soul even seemed to notice us. No one greeted us when we came in. No one introduced themselves after the service. I probably could have convinced my wife to stick it out, despite the “liturgical shock,” but the fact that no one even introduced themselves was a deal breaker for us. There was some diversity in terms of age, there were a couple of families with children, but everyone was white and no one was very outgoing.

    The second LCMS congregation that we visited had about 20 people in attendance. All white. All over the age of 50. We have three young children. We didn’t stick around for the entire service. It would be very difficult to raise three children in a church where they are the only children in attendance.

    I saw on the LCMS website that they have table and pulpit fellowship with the AALC, so we went to check out an AALC church that was a little bit further. They had smiling greeters at the door. Other people went out of their way to introduce themselves to us. The congregation was primarily white, but my wife (who is Latina and grew up in a neighborhood with NO white people) saw a handful of black, Hispanic, and Asian members. And although we actually prefer the liturgical service now, it took some getting used to. We started by attending the blended contemporary/liturgical service.

    Many Lutherans rightly want to distinguish themselves from Evangelicalism, so they staunchly dig in their heels on non-essential issues that they believe will separate them from Evangelicalism. I think the unwillingness to be self-critical that you see in the LCMS stems from a sense of insecurity. Lutheranism in America seems to be in a constant state of identity crisis. Some respond by digging in their heels on non-essential issues. Others respond by blindly aping Evangelicalism.

    I think there is much that the Lutheran Church can do to improve in terms of outreach, evangelism, making people feel welcome, etc. To improve, however, you have to be willing to first be self-critical. If you refuse to consider that you may possibly have some flaws, then you’re never going to make positive steps towards change. It seems that many in the LCMS, at least based on my limited experience and some of the blogs/podcasts that I subscribe to, are unwilling to be self-critical. That’s a major problem.

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    1. Oh, I don’t think the LCMS has any problems being self-critical. But that criticism should be grounded in reality. Let’s try some here:

      Day 1 and 5 are somewhat funny. There is certainly more we could do to teach newcomers what all those acronyms mean, and what purpose the Office of Holy Ministry (and its many overlapping appendages) serve.

      Day 12 is often, sadly, true. Yet it neglects the incredible work of the LCMS’s inner-city churches, our thriving Hmong Ministry, and the many Spanish-speaking congregations. Just because we’re not as “diverse” as popular culture or as we aspire to be doesn’t mean we’re all eating lutefisk.

      Day 17 is terrifying, in that the author downplays the importance of baptism and the education that accompanies it. This isn’t constructive criticism, it’s dangerous. And unscriptural. There’s this thing called the Great Commission I’d like to tell the author about. And that part of 1 Peter 3:21 that goes, “Baptism now saves you.” Not being baptized is one thing; refusing it is another entirely.

      Day 30 is flat-out stupid. Not everyone expresses “emotion” with raised hands, teary eyes and lame imitations of the most repetitive alt-pop song from seven years ago. In fact, the majority of us maintain a proper balance of emotion and do “feel” the Spirit in our hymn-singing.

      Day 40 seems to be ignoring Augsburg Article VII in favor of building steeples or Towers of Babel. The author would benefit from singing some Grundtvig, but we already know that wouldn’t make him/her “feel” enough emotions. What does our Lutheran history demonstrate about Enthusiasts?

      Day 80 is a lie. Inter-Lutheran, parachurch, and secular organizations are contracted and contributed to by the LCMS and her congregations for countless services. That we don’t engage in joint worship with the heterodox or heretical is what keeps our ship in a straight heading. Ecumenicalism sounds great, until your pastor is defrocked and/or jailed for preaching the truth.

      Day 100 tries to dismiss the catechism as being obsolete along with the Natural Order of Creation — which, ironically enough, only demonstrates the necessity for the catechism.

      Day 144 implies that the Means of Grace aren’t enough for the church, and that people need to look away from God’s Word and Sacraments for survival. Kind of misses that fact that if we properly follow God’s Word, the rest will follow. Mixed in is also the false idea that Lutheranism focuses too heavily on heaven instead of fixing things on earth. I wonder if the author has seen any of our schools? Our colleges? Our seminaries? Our soup kitchens? Our homeless shelters? Maybe if the author attended a Lutheran service once in a while, they’d have an appreciation for the Third Use of the Law.

      In general, this “satire” piece isn’t constructive criticism. It preys on fear. There is no Gospel here.

      Can we be reflective on how we share the Gospel? Obviously, we must. But casting off Truth in favor of Enthusiast drivel isn’t the way to do it.

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    2. I’m glad that you have found a church that you are happy with. But you will have to forgive us LCMS Lutherans that attend a church that we love as well. You may think that visiting two churches and reading blogs gives you the right and knowledge to judge something that just didn’t appeal to your wife’s comfort level but you are really very judgmental with very limited exposure to some really wonderful LCMS Churches. Visit Trinity Lutheran Church in Savannah and you will see a church that can expel most of your preconceived notions and criticisms. But if you are in a church you love stay there and try to work on your own churches failings. We all have them.

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      1. I don’t think I’m being judgmental. I also don’t mean to imply that the AALC has it all figured out. The AALC is also a predominantly white, German-American/Scandanavian-American denomination, just like the LCMS.

        All I’m trying to say is that we, as Caucasian Lutherans in North America, may have our own cultural tendencies and comfort zones that make us seem a bit rigid, maybe even unwelcoming. I’m saying this based on my experiences, but also the experiences I’ve heard related by others.

        That doesn’t mean we need to get rid of the liturgy, ditch the confessions, adopt Evangelical-style worship music, etc. It just means that I think we could find ways to be more welcoming when people visit our churches.

        At the AALC congregation we currently attend, we had a Muslim girl wearing a hijab show up one Sunday. I saw her wandering towards the door after we were dismissed. Clearly, she wasn’t a regular, but I didn’t see anyone making any effort to talk to her. I had to fight my way through the line of people waiting to shake the pastor’s hand in order to reach her before she reached the door. I welcomed her and introduced her to my wife who had just picked up the kids from the nursery. It turns out she was visiting us for a school assignment, in which the students were instructed to attend a worship service outside of their own tradition. We encouraged her to visit again, and we invited her to lunch, but she declined. It looked like we were the only people there that even talked to her. That’s a problem.

        Our associate pastor recently had a bunch of business cards printed in order for the congregation to hand out and invite people to Holy Week services. He quoted a statistic (not sure where it came from) that the average Lutheran invites someone to church once every 27 years. That’s a problem. He encouraged us to hand out the business cards and invite people to come to church. That’s a really simple, really positive step in the right direction.

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    3. I do not agree with your criticism of the LCMS. First, ALL churches are flawed in some way. When you find a church that you like, stay with it. But I look at it this way. After being raised in the Catholic Church, having attended 9 years of parochial school in my youth, I thought I would likely remain in it. But when I was about forty years old, my wife and I began to read the Bible closely, and being born again, felt many of the Catholic doctrines were wrong. We went “church shopping” and tried several denominations. Believe me, it was hard to understand why each church viewed the same verses of the Bible with some different interpretations and conclusions as to their proper understanding. When one is an earnest Christian, and trying to be faithful, it is still difficult to know if you are in God’s will by attending one church rather than another. So you try to use the Bible as your guide. I have found some churches too entertaininment oriented in worship, others a bit stiff, some actually too friendly and in your face, others cultish around their pastor…who was the star. Still others had clicks and competing ministries. Some had too much politics among elders and deacons, petty squabbles,and gossip abounded. In other words…..all Christian churches have pews filled with…gasp….sinners. And the first sinner I have met in my life is the face in the mirror. Me! I am 72 years old and still struggling with sin and the Old Adam within, but I don’t have the time or desire to blame the LCMS, where I have been attending for many years. It is not about me, or you, anyway. It is about worshipping Jesus with other sinners, all in need of God’s grace. I like the doctrines of the LCMS, the Liturgy, and the worship services, and I refuse to nitpick as some do on this website. Rather than complain, some of the whining folks posting here should just try to be encouragers and helpful to make the LCMS better. I am writing this at 2:30 in the morning because I can’t sleep, but scanning these posts makes me appreciate the church I attend even more. God bless you. Don’t be so hard on the LCMS. No church is perfect. But God’s people are there, and maybe you can be the one to encourage them and serve your Lord at the same time.

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      1. I completely agree that every single congregation has it’s flaws. I likewise don’t mean to imply that the LCMS is terrible, or that every LCMS congregation has the same issues. Nor do I mean to say that the AALC has it all figured out.

        My only point is that if you look at Lutheranism in America, many of the problems that Dr. Keith has pointed out are common in the LCMS. That doesn’t mean the LCMS is a terrible church. It’s just saying that they have their strengths and they have their weaknesses. The AALC is also a predominantly white, German-American church body. There are certain cultural things with Lutheranism that may hinder the spread of the gospel or the growth of our churches. We need to be willingly to be honest and critical about both our strengths and our weaknesses.

        If we can’t honestly assess where some of the problems lie, then we can’t fix them. Let’s recognize our shortcomings and improve upon them, rather refusing to admit that their may be some issues there.

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  5. sat·ire
    ˈsaˌtī(ə)r/
    noun
    the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

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  6. Pathetic attempt at satire. Not funny. Not accurate. Not helpful.
    Dr. Keith, you should be ashamed for passing this on. But you will likely claim it’s your Christian freedom.
    Not helpful, but a hindrance.

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  7. JW just keeps getting better and better!

    They even instruct us how to recognize “satire!” Impressive. They posted the actual definition of satire to defend and define the column – doubly impressive! Talk about a complete education! Unsurpassed. I only wish they had been around in the ’70’s – ’90s! They would have had a satirical field day then!

    At first, I was did worry a bit that perhaps the gross overuse of definitions and terms and accusations might be somewhat objectionable, but that worry was overcome quickly by the assurances that it was in good humor and yes, necessary.

    Imagine the LCMS should be powerless – stuck in the ice, as it were – against the present day onslaught of calvinism, pietism, and popular music. No sense of humor there. peeps – just lighten up! Roll with the flow.

    JW – the gift that keeps on giving.

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    1. Hi David,
      Don’t give up on the JW just yet. This was not the typical thought and debate provoking topic that I see on here regularly. These guys and gals on the blog are solid in their faith and a lot smarter than I am on doctrine ( I hope Graham doesn’t see that). Hang in there because you’re in for a treat!

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  8. I will first ask, please forgive me if I offend anyone.
    Good satire usually makes me laugh. I’m sorry to say, I did not laugh at this attempt. I could see the point. I understand this is a young person writing this. So I’m hoping he will learn a lot more about what the church is in his future years yet to come.
    I hardly know how to speak to this without writing a book. But I will try to be concise.
    #1. I react negatively to bashing the LCMS. I don’t think we’re perfect by any means. I am not trained through one of our Concordia schools. I have no degree. Except that I was raised and taught at a great church and parochial school through the 8th grade. I am just a lay woman. I have read a small library worth of Christian books. I have a lot of experience in the good churches where I was raised and where I have attended during my life. I appreciate all the good Pastors that I have had.
    #2 I have attended churches/Bible studies/seminars/… outside of the LCMS. I live in Calvin-land.
    #3 I have attended, at length, cowo churches.
    #4 My husband was raised Eastern Orthodox. I read, and keep in touch, with those churches.
    I say all that only to show that I have a experienced a broad range of teachings and worship practices both inside and outside of the LCMS.
    And yet, I am still an LCMSer.
    Why? Because my church has always been good to me. I am a sinner and came from a sinful place. My church communicated the truth of Christ’s love and forgiveness to me. My Pastor’s communicated Christ’s real forgiveness to me personally as well. I know it is in vogue to condemn the ‘confessionals’ in our midst. But you know what? They are the ones who have communicated forgiveness to me in the clearest way. It is thought that they are all grim touters of the Law. I have never found that. When I needed forgiveness at the deepest level of my soul, it was given to me in my Lutheran church through worship and study and personal confession and absolution. I came to believe in this forgiveness because of the very foundational things we are taught. Repetition is necessary as well.
    I constantly sought this knowledge of real forgiveness in all those places I listed above. It eluded me for most of my whole life. It was before me the whole time. But it was muddied up with all the sinfulness of all the constant complaining over this and that and all the division that exists among all of us in the whole Christian Church on earth.
    I have seen churches drop so many parts of our (used to be) normal liturgy. I have heard of a teacher who only ‘teaches the 2nd article’ of the Creed. (I doubt very much this would be sanctioned by Rod Rosenbladt who taught the “Two Natures of Christ” so well.) In all our attempts to change worship in our own man-made attempts to attract, each man makes up his own rules for that church which usually ends up with compromising doctrine of some sort or other.
    Points of doctrine get left out until they virtually vanish from sight. And this smacks to me of a Pentecostal “Oneness” kind of church. Where everything is “Jesus Only.” (refuted in John 10 and 14) The Holy Trinity is diminished. I know of a Pentecostal church that bought a dead Lutheran church. The first things to be removed from the property were the Altar, the Communion rail, and the Crosses — because Communion is only symbolic. They had to make room for the Praise Band. Good Friday only comes around — on Good Friday.
    I read things like this all the time… “Everyone is trying to attract new people and hold on to them and make them disciples. But, today, people are seekers and shoppers looking for a temporary experience of worship, not a long-term commitment”http://religionnews.com/2015/12/02/megachurch-evangelical-christians/
    Experientially, this is true. The saddest thing said there is ‘not a long-term commitment.’ Are they talking about to a ‘church’ or to Jesus? I read recently that all of the copious amounts of church activity are failing at teaching people to be actual disciples of Jesus. How is this happening? One good answer is here … “Dear Church: The World Needs a Cross Not a Pacifier”http://www.chadbird.com/blog/2016/6/30/dear-church-the-world-needs-a-cross-not-a-pacifier
    I attend 2 Eastern Orthodox churches occasionally. As I was sitting there and looking around I thought, “Well here are all the Millenials.” The churches have a healthy view of “Ageism” — they don’t practice it. The church is filled with old, middle, young, and children. All participate together in social functions. It is a community of believers. The Divine Service? Plenty of Scripture, Old and New. The Creeds and the Lord’s Prayer — usually repeated about 2 to 3 times each during the service. Constant reference to the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit — One God. “Old” music. Not a fake smoke machine, but real incense (which is shown all through Scripture even to the end). Plenty of reference to Jesus and His saving work. And the Real Sacraments. This is not a show. It is real worship. And it can last between 2-3 hours. And no one complains. (Not even the babies — they just fall asleep in daddy’s arms.)
    I love my Lutheran church. I don’t believe it is going to die. Yes, we have faults. Some places might close. But that happens in all churches. If I have to go to church with ‘old’ people to get the simple message of the Gospel and receive the Real Sacrament, so be it. I want the basics and the true truth. I appreciate the historical elements in the services — being there, and not left out. I want to be connected to the ancient historical church.
    Here is a snippet of a description of the LCMS by a sister Concordia. To me, it is very sad to read. I know I will always be able to find a true church. I am sad for others who will not know enough to be able to do that.

    There’s a lot more to it, but the bottom line is that Lutherans are 37 percent less terrible than Roman Catholics—though all Lutherans are not created equal. For example, Concordia was founded by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod who seem less sensible than their more liberal sister organization, the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Missouri Synod believes in biblical inerrancy—or that the bible is without error. Usually that’s bad news for our LGBT friends and neighbors… however, I’ve been informed by several students on campus as well as the administration that Concordia has a healthy LGBT community, and the school works hard to create an environment of support for all of their students—regardless of sexual orientation, religion, or what have you. (Sometimes it’s best to regard the founders of your school like a crazy, homophobic grandparent. Just sigh heavily and roll your eyes.)

    http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/concordia-university/Content?oid=10317708
    Would we not be better off to hold on tight to the true things? Would we not be better off if everyone would be proud of our beliefs and bold to share them with our neighbors? Would we not be better off to practice the Great Commission? Wouldn’t it be better to hold our head up high and preach and give Christ instead of hold our head down in supposed shame for all of our idiosyncrasies? If we believe we have the truth, would this not be a better witness of it to the world?
    There is no perfect church on earth. All have faults and misinterpretations. All are guilty. All are run by sinful men. But there is a true Church. Christ says so. It is His Body. And I believe we are part of it.
    God bless you all,
    Abby

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  9. What Abby said? Hands down!!!

    Pastor Koch – I would caution you to be a bit more pastoral in your responses – that response to Brother Busby was beneath what normally I have read from you. He’s spot-on with what he said about this this piece – as said others, and myself in my “satire backatcha” piece. The original article was lowbrow, accusatory, and out of place, period. It was hardly “satire.”

    To David Busby – it is sad this had to be the first article you read. There really are some good pieces on here, but as always with any site, you have to pick and choose.

    Pax Christi –
    Rev. Jeff Baxter
    koivwvia@gmail.com

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  10. I wonder how this discussion would change if people were aware of the background of the author? From what I have read in the comments so far people seem frustrated with the fact that the author has written a piece that seems to point out some negative perceptions of the LCMS. But what if the concerns raised through satire are genuine from someone who is on that boat?
    It’s kind of along the lines of “no one can make fun of my brother except for me”. As a lifelong LCMS Lutheran I get that we take a beating from outsiders. But I think we should respect the concerns of our fellow brothers and sisters in the church. This piece of writing brings up questions that are worthy of deeper discussion.

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  11. “Fellow Student”

    This piece brings up stuff older than Genesis, much of which has much has been written about so many times in the past it borders on “TMI.” And most of it can be said of every congregation that has been since Christ!

    “Some negative perceptions?” Good Lord, whomever you are – one cannot paint with a brush that broad with outright accusations! Pure legalism! And for you to claim the author was meaning to help discussion along, is disingenuous at best. The author is well-schooled in his opinions – those are not the words of some novice in the problems of the LCMS. Nor are the problems anywhere near as simplistic as he presents. At many other sites he would would be banned, rightly so, as a troll.

    And those writing their words of protest over his words – they ain’t chopped liver, Dude or Dudress! Perhaps you ought to read those! You’re merely making excuses for a piece badly written and poorly aimed. If you are trying to lay it all on the “background of the author” – that is often a refuge for scoundrels.” I didn’t aim that gun, you tried to put it in the hands of all disagreeing with what was written.

    Let the author come forward and explain himself. That in itself would be most interesting!

    jb

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  12. FilSec –

    Gee – was that a cut? Oh, my – guess I should be offended, but I don’t play that SJW snowflake game. Besides, it took you 2 whole days to come up with it. You didn’t strain your milk, did you?

    Since it is so clearly ad hominem – the mark of a shallow thinker – you won’t take offense if I just ignore you, will you? 🙂

    jb

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  13. One more thing. I was particularly stung at the end of the piece at the seeming mocking of Holy Communion.

    I will stretch this metaphor a bit further to say that Jesus Himself was on a ‘sinking ship.’ He celebrated His Last Communion with only 12 disciples. And then He was taken away to be killed. His disciples, not believing anything He had been teaching them for 3 years, all ran away and hid ‘for fear of the Jews.’ Jesus was put in a tomb. The ship went all the way down. The disciples could see no hope.

    Changing a familiar truism, I will say that ‘Jesus blood is the seed of the Church.’ He said, “Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.”

    P.S. I haven’t thought of myself as a ‘sow’ in a long long time.

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