Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Church is Soylent Green

My brain is masterful at making connections.  The connections are not always obvious, and as an adult, I usually am pretty good at filtering out the more odd ones.  My senior high English teacher once wrote:

"Due to the abstruse nature of your intellect (at least, what I have observed of it so far), I at first thought you were satirizing literary critique.  But you weren't.  You have made some shrewd connections between Heathcliff and Lockwood.  They are, of course, off the wall for the most part."

Yes, I memorized that quote - it is verbatim from the red ink splashed on that paper.

And it really does describe what goes on in my head.  Most of the time, my brain is making connection after connection, looking for common ground, looking for similarity.  I love punning, I love analogy and metaphor.  It is as though my brain understands difficult concepts best if I can help it out with a good analogy.

It makes me a good teacher.  It also makes me a miserable conversationalist, because I am seeing connected concepts to discuss (my neighbor calls it an Irish conversation) and wanting to delve into each and every one.

It can also be terribly distracting and a little unnerving for all involved, when it happens at inopportune times.

This morning, I was finishing up an adult Sunday school class.  We are working our way through a very insightful book on the Apostles' Creed called Rooted.  Ray is a friend, and a local Presbyterian minister, and I have sincerely enjoyed leading the discussion class on his book.

The discussion we had on the statement "I believe in the holy catholic church" followed predictable form.  We discussed the function of the church as community, discussed how it was different from other communities in town (bars, Krewes, and even weekly worship sessions at the football altar at the Super Dome).

And we discussed how the church is not the building, but the people.

For some inexplicable reason, during my closing prayer, my synapses made the typical odd connection, and I could not filter it in time.  I prayed the following closing prayer:

"Most merciful and loving God, we have come here today as your church.  Like Soylent Green, Lord, your church is made of people,  Um.  Send us out into the world to carry the good news of your salvation with us, wherever we go."

Seriously.  I said that out loud.  No reason at all to bring up the connection.  Yes, the church is people.  Yes, so is Soylent Green.  And I suppose that the cannibalism of the Lord's Supper could also be brought into the connection.  But I suspect the poor, confused people at that table probably had enough.

Still chuckling with embarrassment over this one.  In the words of Mark Twain,

“Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of this scene”

1 comment:

Andrew Lawton said...

ah yes, soylent jesus.