Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Theology of Things

"But things do not have magical power, they have theological power... "

"Christ himself was incarnate, and he came not only to live among us, but among things,which he experienced richly. Christ asks us to remember him with bread and wine-he identified himself with bread and wine.
We aught not to rush to spiritualize these things and strip them of their sensual power, for it is in precisely their material qualities Christ was identifying himself. He was not coyly using metaphor. This is not to lead us to a reprise on the catholic-protestant debate on transsubstanciation,( is Christ literally to be found in the bread and wine?) But to ask: Is Christ to be found in the world at all? And How? How precisely did God intend to show us himself in the world?
I think more and more the issue returns to the school teacher and his quest to remember and recapture a place.

We too fear a loss of place, a loss of
memory, a loss of God. To reap memories one must be incarnate, not just having a body, for even the dead posses one, but a body whose senses are working.
Memory proves that we were there. As the bible records god's presence in the world in a broad sense, memories record our more personal history and god's presence in the history of our lives in large and seemingly small ways, in times of plenty and little,when we were close to him and when we were running like hounds away from him.
SO save the ticket stubs, do not throw away aunt Mamie's battered pop corn bowl sniff the diesel fumes when you take that trip to Memphis. Do not turn away from that decrepit ally behind town. Taste the bread, brothers and sisters, taste the bread, hold it, sniff it, put in to your lips, and know the incarnate God, who made the earth and put us among things, for our pleasure and his."
-Gina Bria (Place, Community, and Memory, a Mars Hill Audio Anthology, which for now is only 2.50$ on tape here.)


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