Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Another Way of Preaching Church

"I believe that in this congregation, or Church, all things are in common, that everyone's possessions belong to the others and that no one has anything of his [or her] own; therefore, all the prayers and good works of the whole congregation must help, assist and strengthen me and every believer at all times, in life and death, and thus each bear the other's burden, as St. Paul teaches ( A Brief Explanation of the Creed Luther, 1520)

In this case, church has also to do with possessions, the sharing of the whole congregation of everything, so that all things belong to all, in order to bear each other's burdens. This is a dramatic re-ordering of church, not along hierarchical lines, or by way of ecclesiology, but through an eschatological and perichoretic here-and-now-ness. Try preaching this one on Easter. The liturgy might look like this:

Presiding Minister: Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Congregation: He is risen indeed. Here, have my last month's pay check.
Presiding Minister: Easter is here, and I've decided to share my pension with Bob, the janitor.
Congregation: Christ is alive! Indeed, your sins have been rolled away.
Presiding Minister: Like the empty tomb, so is my wallet.
Congregation: Christ is alive! We'll pray for you.
Presiding Minister: You have nothing of your own, but all have the assurance of salvation.
Congregation: Christ is alive! But what about my XBox? Can I keep that?
Presiding Minister: The grave is now open, and I see no XBox.
Congregation: Christ is alive! The disciples run with joy to see for themselves that there is indeed no XBox.
Presiding Minister: The glorious news of Easter is spreading fast.
C: Christ is alive. Let's start a commune together.
Presiding Minister: Alleluia! Who's cooking supper. I'll come over.
Congregation: He is risen indeed! All together now.

Over the intercom system, the repeated but fading sound of the Beatles singing "All together now... all together now" can be heard.

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