Friday, April 27, 2007


sometimes i suspect that pastoral ministers are not all that different from sin eaters. based upon the very limited research that i have completed, i've learned that sin eaters were a group of societal outcasts who took the sins of the dead upon themselves by eating a ritual meal of bread and ale that was either passed over or laid upon a fresh corpse. by eating the bread and drinking the ale the sin eater supposedly set the dead free from a life of roaming and, presumably, set the aggrieved family free from the terror of haunting.

likewise, every day pastors sit beside dying marriages, corroding churches and, worst of all, their devolving selves and somehow find the strength to eat the bread and drink the wine. like the sin eaters of old they then tromp off to their secluded study, prayer closet or take a solitary walk in hopes that the sin they've absorbed and the fucked up messes they are now entangled in will somehow be resolved or reconciled in hope that the people involved therein might be renewed or reborn. in sum, pastors decend into the dens of the dead as Jesus did before them and, on their best days, do not venture forth without hope.

as pastors sit beside the dead, devour the bread and sip the cup, is it any wonder that their own lives are often strained to the breaking point? does it not take great faith to wake the dead for a living and constantly endure the darkness in hope of a new day?

time and again i hear people denounce and lament the brokenness of these sin eaters. while i don't deny either the unfortunate causes or effects of such brokeness, i'm honestly amazed that any endure this dark descent.

so today, as i think about my brother and sister sin eaters and the horrors they endure on account of Christ i tremble. i want to extend more grace and mercy to those who share this horribly beautiful calling. moreover, on my better days, i want to extend this same grace to myself.

i probably shouldn't write about such matters in such a careless manner. but so it goes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

somewhere between the losing and the finding

i am as confounded as i am content. i am so deeply grateful to finally have someone who is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone, but terrified that i will not be able to provide for my family. i finally have a job that converges somewhat with my calling, but doesn't pay the mortgage and only tangentially relates to my greatest strength. i constantly want to proclaim the goodness, beauty and truth of God, but can only rarely find the words. i'm an ex-aspiring theologian who leans towards calvinism yet finds himself whispering to those broken by Christ's body that people are only christians insofar as they follow Christ.

it's in moments like these that i envy my Christian brothers and sisters that serve in more traditional settings and cling to a more established branches of theology. these are days when, in an ecclesiological sense, i feel like "throwing the country a through k rack in the middle of the streets and going to work for a virgin mega store." but here i quake and can do no other.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

well that was one hell of a birthday present! cards 12, cubs 9

last year the cubs swept us on my birthday weekend and my year was one of the worst on record. this year the cards ground out the series to take 2 out of 3 and apu capped off the whole thing by shivving dempster lidge-style. methinks this year will be one to remember.

on another note: little preston sat on my lap throughout the 9th inning and so witnessed daddy striking the wall. welcome to cardinals/cubs little guy!


We have been beaten in Iraq, despite all our firepower and all our money. And as soon as the last US soldier leaves that hellhole in the desert, the Right is going to start blaming the media and the Left and the anti-war conservatives for causing us to lose Iraq." - rod dreher on the crunchy cons blog

over the past six months many military hawks have realized that their early support for bush's bungle is as indefensible as a cultured person's passion for american idol. upon hearing these confessions a part of me wants to chortle "see i told you so" but a larger part of me feels pity for family and friends who've had to stutter forth such statements of repentance.