A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughts on Pagans, Children, and more

Today was the last day of school before summer break.  I did not find time to organize my thoughts this morning while the kids were at school. What are my odds of getting organized now when I am interrupted every few minutes with "What are you doing?", "What can I do?" "How is a blog important?" Wish I were a little more confident in my answer to that last one.  

Instead of vainly attempting to marshall up some deep theology out of the scattered nature of my day, I thought I would share a few thoughts which brought me chuckles or made me ponder something more deeply. 

As I mentioned this is the last day of school for a while and one of my daughters is terribly excited.  She explained her excitement saying, "Now I can get up in the morning and color and read!"  'Cause they never do things like that at school.  To be fair she later followed up with a lengthy list of all the other things she loves about summer.   I asked my other daughter if she was excited about school being out.   She answered with a very curt, "No."  Guess which one is my little social butterfly.  They continually amaze and mystify me with all the ways they are unique individuals. 

I went to an end of the year program at their school this morning and was reminded again that our children are an amazing blessing. Last week I blogged about a young person who broke open my heart in regards to homosexuality. This morning I realized that our children break our hearts open in countless ways. The number of times I had to fight off tears was ridiculous. I never used to be this emotional. But kids are constantly amazing us and making us proud. It doesn't even have to be my own children. It is amazing how they all grow and learn, struggle and triumph. Children have a way of making us more aware of growth and more forgiving when progress is small because after all it is still progress. I wish we could take some of that open-heartedness into our grown-up conflicts remembering that we are all struggling to figure things out, sometimes succeeding, sometimes making mistakes, sometimes having a bad day, sometimes getting stuck in our anger or fear but always still children of God. 

Today I also read another blog which lead me again to contemplate ideas about heaven and hell. This article,http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/05/16/nt-wright-asks-have-we-gotten-heaven-all-wrong was about a book by N.T. Wright in which he challenges some common ideas about heaven. I had to chuckle a little because at one point Wright points out that some of our concepts of hell come from paganism. Kind of funny to think about the people who say we shoudn't celebrate Halloween due to pagan origins. Guess those same people shouldn't talk about hell either. That's not to mention the reading I have been doing in "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong pointing out biblical references which indicate some of our ancestors in the Old Testament were pagans. 

Speaking of Pagans, several times this week the topic of Pagans has come up. I have been forced to realize my ignorance and prejudice on this topic. For years, the word pagan has been associated in my mind with the satanic, or most anything against Christianity. This has little relation to reality so it was helpful to me to read this article, http://rachelheldevans.com/ask-a-pagan-response from Rachel Held Evans. 

I also am beginning to realize I most often quote from two blogs: Sojourners and Rachel Held Evans. I need to expand my horizons a bit. I would love to hear recommendations from all of you about blogs you read or blogs you write. What have you been reading lately?


Charlene said...

Love, Joy, Feminism is a blog by an atheist who was raised in the Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy movement. She also links to Rachel Held Evans quite a lot. My current book is When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron. For the best of what neo-paganism has to offer (imho), check out The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk. The novel was published in the mid-nineties, I think, but there is a film version in the works also.

Sheri Ellwood said...

Thanks for the recommendations. The blog is interesting and I added the book to my wish list!