Who Am I?

Male and Female He Created Them

Posted: June 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Faith | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I wasn’t particularly shaped by Christianity, culturally or otherwise, growing up. Since I’ve become Christian, I’ve struggled with the various Christian ideas about what it means to be a human being and to be male and female. None of them ever really seemed to fit to me. Some of them I found repugnant, but many were not. They just didn’t feel right.

This lecture by Fr. John Behr finally begins to fill that gap. If you’ve had those moments where you hear something, your perception shifts, and it just feels right, that was my reaction. He walks through the primary texts and ties them together in a way I’m certain I’ve never heard before (though I’ve heard many of the elements at one time or another).

He also ties together a number of things I’ve heard and read over the years, but somehow never quite connected the dots. God’s creation of the human being is not something completed in the distant past of Genesis. Rather, it’s a project God begins, but one that is only completed when Jesus utters the words, “It is finished.” What is finished? God’s project. The creation of the human being is accomplished. And when Christ rests in the tomb on Saturday, it’s not something like the seventh day sabbath of Genesis 1. It is that sabbath.

When you perceive reality through that lens, it changes everything. I’ll certainly take Fr. Behr’s perspective over much of what passes for discussion about “authentic” manhood or womanhood in modern American Christian circles. I wanted to offer it to others who might read here as well.

Male and Female He Created Them

 


The Didache 31 – The Lord’s Day

Posted: July 11th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Didache | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

This series is reflecting on the Didache if you want to read it separately.

But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: “In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”

A number of things immediately leap out to me here. First, we see confirmed here the very early Christian practice of gathering on the first day of the week (the Lord’s Day) rather than the Sabbath. I also think that some people, raised in the modern Christianized West, have misconceptions over what this meant. In the ancient world, only the Jews kept a “lazy day” (what the Romans called the Sabbath) each week. Many of the early Christians were not just poor, but actually slaves. And most were not Jewish. They had no option for a leisurely “lazy day” of rest. So gathering for the Lord’s Day meant they rose from sleep in the pre-dawn hours, gathered for worship, and then left for a full day’s labor. Maybe keep that in mind when you gather tomorrow? 😉

The center of the gathering was the eucharist (thanksgiving) in which the bread was broken. It was done after confession as was discussed earlier in the Teaching and was considered in some way also a sacrifice that could be pure or could be profaned. The charge to reconcile with others echoes the Sermon on the Mount once again.

So. Gather on the Lord’s Day. Confess your sins. Partake in the sacrifice of the Eucharist, in the breaking of the bread in thanksgiving. Those are the instructions we see here.