It's been a pretty rough week; I was quite struck this morning when I glanced at an icon of the Emmaus encounter, and realized with deeper comprehension the grace of the God who comes to us in Word and Sacrament. Luke 24 presents to us a mystical theology of the early Christian communities: the God who made himself known to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth now makes himself known to us in hearing the Scriptures and sharing at the Table. By the words of God we were created, and by the one Word of God we are recreated, and offered the "medicine of immortality."
In the midst of everything, whatever that might be, we who claim the sign of the cross are caught up in the life of the trinitarian god. We are given a safe place to mourn, and a place to receive healing and restoration in ways we might not expect. Over and over again, thanks be to God.
Yesterday I did quite a bit of reading, and in the evening I joined some of the students at the college chaplain's house for dinner. I heart fish pie. Who'd have thought? The lot of us ate very well and had a good time, discussing ethnic differences (the poor, poor Welsh!), politics, the idiosyncrasies of American religion, and of course college gossip. Oops. But I learned more about the college in 2 hours than I have in five weeks...!
The illustrious guests included a German astrophysicist, so I got to learn some details about the life span of a star (of white dwarfs, red giants, planetary nebulae and the like) and than naturally a bit of science fiction. Big ol' nerds. But not as nerdy as the people in the JCR right now who are talking about the Lord of the Rings with greater interest than their viewing of the actual film. I thought I was bad for talking through movies...!
Did I mention going to a debate last week? I think the title really was "Evangelical and Liberal Anglican Vicars Go Head-To-Head." It was fairly bland, until Richard Dawkins got up and embarrassed the evangelical; he wanted to know, "Is there any room for doubt in your understanding?" Apparently not. Or at least, he prefers to keep such things private, which is quite sad. I disagreed with both vicars, what does that say? I'm all like, "guys, you're just a couple of modernists anyway. It doesn't really matter." My favorite question from the audience: "My husband doesn't attend church, but he's a really moral man. Will he go to heaven, or does he need to go to church?" The response: "Madam, I fear dreadfully for your husband on the day of judgment."
And I'm all like, "Way to go, Captain Bring-Down."
I got to visit my friend Holly and her (relatively) new husband today; we'd not seen each other for over three years, so that was a lot of fun. I enjoyed their hospitality. And got to see duckies! And seagulls, I didn't like the seagulls so much.
"Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke with us on the road?"