Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Savoring the 'sacrament of the present moment,' with a little help from The Decemberists

The Decemberists perform "The Mariner's Revenge Song"
at The Fillmore in Charlotte, NC, April 9, 2015 (photo by Steve Harmon)
Baptist News Global has published my post "Savoring 'the sacrament of the present moment,' with a little help from The Decemberists" on its Perspectives opinion site. An excerpt from the beginning of the post follows:

Christian thinking about the world we live in and God’s goals for it wrestles with a tension. What God envisions for the world is already being made manifest in the Easter reality of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and in the body of his church that strives to incarnate this reality in the world. But this reality does not yet fully embrace this world, as even a glance at it confirms.

In the art form of popular music, the Irish rock band U2 renders this tension well. By faith we believe that through Christ what ought to be is already here. But it’s plain to see that the world around us is not yet that, so we still haven’t found what we’re looking for.

That’s not any easy tension to maintain. An over-emphasis on the “already” of the Christian life—what theologians call an “overly-realized eschatology”—can blind us to its “not-yetness,” the unfinished nature of God’s work with us, with the church, with the world. But an over-emphasis on the present “not-yetness” of the world can blind us to the things that ought to be that are already all around us—what 18th-century French Jesuit spiritual writer Jean Pierre de Caussade called “the sacrament of the present moment.”

Also in the art form of popular music, a song from the new album by Portland, Oregon folk-rock band The Decemberists renders well what it means to savor the sacrament of the present moment in the midst of all the things in the world that ought not to be....(read the full post at Baptist News Global Perspectives)

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