This being Advent, that period roughly between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m thinking a lot of theology. As it turns out, fillyjonk wrote about what I have experienced and what I believe.
“The ‘true dwelling of the holy’ – I was thinking today of how there seem to be competing ideas in Christianity that I’ve seen; where some groups within it are bent on withdrawing from the ‘”world’ as much as possible, and, I guess, waiting on either the Second Coming* or the Afterlife, because that’s the Kingdom of Heaven, and then things will be right.
“And others – and this is more traditionally the congregations I’ve been a part of – have tried to do what they can to bring a little bit of the Kingdom of Heaven here and now. And I admit, with all the loss in my life lately, and some sad old doubts reawakening….well, if maybe the here and now is all we have, shouldn’t we strive to make it as good for everyone around us, and ourselves as well? All we know we have is this day, and so it probably behooves us to be both happy and kind in it.”
The Dustbury connection
I should note that fillyjonk lost her father this year. She was a friend and follower of the late blogger Dustbury. In fact, I became aware of her blog from him.
“(*At one point in my childhood, we briefly attended a church where a lot of the members were really hot on the “End Times” ideas, where the faithful would be raptured and the rest of us would be left to wait out the horrible things that were to come… I admit as an anxious child, that thing scared me a lot – what if I was one of the people who realized one day ‘Hey where is this person? And that person?’ and then realized with dawning horror that they had been raptured away and I hadn’t been ‘good enough.'”
I had received that Rapture message, which ultimately drove me AWAY from the church, ironically.
“And based on my Bible reading as an adult, that doesn’t seem a terribly Biblical thing, or at least, it’s a stretch of stuff John of Patmos wrote, but….I remember being uncomfortable with it as a child. And I would so much rather be the person working in a food bank or welcoming a newcomer or doing something in the here and now to try to make someone’s life here and now better, and not to build up Good Place points for myself so much as….well, because I would like other people to do the same for me.)”
That Matthew 25 message of feeding the hungry, et al., is what helped draw me back to the church. That is, for me, the “true dwelling of the holy.”