I'm trying to prepare a bunch of Christmas messages at the moment, and have spent a long time working through Luke 2. The more I dig into it, the more I realise how political it all is. Not just Luke 2 but Matthew 2 as well.
I spent most of today helping to destroy a church. One of our church plants had run out of money, manpower and members, and so we made the obvious decision to close it down, end the contract on the building, revert all the alterations that had been made to it and to return it to the landlord. For some involved, I'm sure it was a sad day, but I have to admit that I took a perverse pleasure in it, laying into bookshelves and partitions with a ball-peen hammer. It's a great way to take out your frustrations. I wish I could call it creative destruction, but it wasn't, it was just destruction, pure and simple. I wish I could say that symbolically I was breaking down the building to set free the church, but no, really, I wasn't. I was just merrily swinging away, laying into pieces of wood that didn't really deserve it. And I loved it.
Evangelistic meetings, at least here in Japan, are a funny sort of performance art.
I was just writing an email to a prayer supporter back home, and I started rambling, and the place for rambling is on the blog, not in email, so I moved everything here, and sent back a mercifully shorter email.
Well, kinda. It's been split for years, but people have had the good grace to bear with one another. But no longer! Bearing with one another is for liberals and wimps!
So last weekend, Nagahama church did the impossible: it hosted our engagement ceremony. It was on a much bigger scale than any of the engagement ceremonies they'd done before. We had much less preparation and many more guests coming than Pastor Takahashi and our volunteers were comfortable with. There were doubts about whether or not it was going to work, and feathers were ruffled. But in the end, it worked. Oh, did it work.
Bingo chart for Emerging Church blog posts
I've been wanting for a while to write something more about homosexuality, Proposition 8 and all that stuff, but more and more I'm feeling that it's such a touchy and hyper-polarized subject that I need to deal with the problem side-on and piecewise. I have a very nuanced position on all this, and it's not something that people like to see nuanced positions on. You apparently have to either be all-in fags-will-burn, or all-out gay-marriage-should-be-legal-if-not-compulsary. I'm neither. I'm pretty much in the middle. (In fact, my position is pretty well summed up here.)
Last week I was interviewed by my home church about what I'm doing here. I both love and hate these interviews. Of course I love that my home church is concerned and want to know how I'm doing. I love that they take an interest. And of course I love the opportunity to talk about my work. I love my work. Well, some of the time. Anyway.