Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Disconnect For Me

In a New York Times article today about the naming of new cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church, the author wrote: "Dressed in heavy golden vestments, Benedict called on the new cardinals to devote themselves entirely to humble service to the church, whose force, he said, is “not the logic of supremacy, of power according to human criteria, but the logic of bowing down to wash feet, the logic of service, the logic of the cross which is at the base of every exercise of power.”

Does anyone besides me see a disconnect here?

Here's the photo from that story:

Now, I'm in agreement with the words about devoting themselves humbly to the church.  I am just wondering about being dressed in enough gold to outclass any earthly king while making such a pronouncement.  

It is a day where I'm wrestling mightily with the nature of the church.  I'm working on my message for Christ the King Sunday tomorrow.  What kind of a king is Christ?  The human experience with "kings" is not particularly holy or helpful.  Many, if not all, appear to be deeply corrupt, enamored with power, surrounded by sycophants, and protected from the vicissitudes and challenges of normal life, of trying to keep a family fed and housed, of concerns about health care and retirement, of seeking to keep a healthy soul in the midst of soul-destroying poverty.

So in my wrestling, I struggle with the image of church that I project and that is seen as a whole.  I just keep thinking, "we are doing this all wrong."

1 comment:

Angie Hammond said...

Hey Christy, I hope you will post your message this week. I'd love to hear what you came up with after reading this blog post. I would remind anyone who reads my comment that Jesus himself said his kingdom was not of this world.

So in response to that statement, I don't believe we can compare Jesus to worldly kings. I too find it hard to understand the statement made by the Pope about bowing down to wash feet while dressed in such ornate gold vestments.

Perhaps the best image I can think of for Christ the King is Jesus on the cross with his crown of thorns.
It speaks volumes in terms of what it represents.

It reminds us that our King gave himself up for our salvation.

In regard to the image of the church you present to those you serve. I say love God with all your heart soul and mind and then go from there. I am certain that you will be guided in how to present the Kingdom of Christ here on earth.