Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Lectures, iPhone Evolution, and Guns
Okay people, it's Wednesday, and I'm really feeling the effects of hump day. It was one of those days when my alarm goes off and I wake up completely disoriented wondering what is making that horrid noise. After reorienting myself and figuring out who/what/where/why I am, I then was overcome by a depressive lethargy (I am a slothful 9 after all) that cried for me not to get out of bed. After five minutes of inner struggle and negative self-talk, I was able to drag myself to the bathroom to begin my day. I'm definitely looking forward to a weekend away in the wilderness of New Hampshire. All I have to really finish is the sermon, so I won't have to do it while trying to socialize this weekend.
This week in the Intro to Christian Worship class I get to lead discussions on the Church Year. All the students read Laurence Hull Stookey's Calendar: Christ's Time for the Church (which I think is one of the best pastoral books written on the subject) and then we're walking through the year from Advent to Christ the King Sunday. I mean, who can ask for a better job than getting to explain Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc., to people? Then, two weeks from Tuesday I'm giving a lecture on why hymnals are still important for the Christian faith. I'm just hoping other students and people in the larger Boston area don't start a stampede in their clamor to get a seat in the room.
So, I've noticed that there's definitely an evolution of thought and feeling after purchasing an iPhone. The first two months I was simply flabbergasted by all the stuff it could do, especially when it would sync up automatically with my computer through the iCloud (whatever that actually is). It was directing me all over the city, finding good restaurants in the area, and letting me send a quick email by voice if I wanted to. Then it became the new normal, and I took it for granted. Lately, I've found myself getting frustrated when the phone doesn't read my mind. "Why hasn't my notes synced up to my iPhone? I wrote it at least 13 seconds ago! If Steve Jobs was still alive, he would never let this atrocity stand. That's it! I'm switching to the Samsung Galaxy!"
It's so tragic that we're getting to a point in U.S. society where mass shootings are becoming the new normal. How many people have to be sacrificed on the altar of the second amendment? Do we ever get to the point where it might be good and right to give up some of our "rights" for the sake of human flourishing? My question for Christians is will there be guns and armaments in the kingdom of God? If not, shouldn't we be working toward that type of kingdom "on earth as it is in heaven?" I think we as a Christian community in the U.S. need more idealism and imagination and less pragmatism/cynicism in facing evil and violence and injustice in the world. We have enough people saying, "This is just the way things are," and not enough people imagining new ways of living. I just don't think Jesus is like this (aesthetically, ideologically, and racially):
But at least Grand Theft Auto V is coming out because I'm sure our culture's glorification of violence in the media has nothing to do with the increased level of violence around the country.
I'm going to change subjects fairly rapidly, so I thought I would put in this sentence so it wouldn't be quite so jarring.
Can I just say this weather has been absolutely wonderful. I could only ask that it would be a little bit colder so I could break out the sweaters and flannel (you know, my love language is cold weather clothing; buy me a sweater or flannel and I'll be loyal to you for life).
Oh, I had my first Latin class...and proceeded to get chastised in it. First, I was already feeling unprepared because apparently he had sent out an email (which I didn't get because it's a BC class and not a BU class) to read chapter 1 and do the exercises, so I was pretty much winging it from the beginning. Then I brought the text book in - John Collins' Primer for Ecclesiastical Latin - and since I had tried to go through the book before, I also had an answer key for the book so I could check my answers. During the middle of the class, the teacher spotted the answer book on the table and exclaimed in a stern voice, "Never bring this book to class again. It is not by the author and should not be used. It's full of mistakes." He acted like I brought Sauron's ring into the Shire. So, I thought it was a really successful first day of Latin. Luckily, I talked myself off the ledge by finishing the next week's assignment the next day and reminding myself that this comment did not mean he hated me or had it in for the only Protestant (and Evangelical at that!) in the room.
Well, I'm off to my Pentecostalism class! Later.