The End of Babylon

Dear friends in Christ,

The End of Babylon.The Sunday class continues its study of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine on Sunday, February 19 at 10 a.m. As the middle section of the book concludes in the eighteenth chapter, John witnesses the destruction of Babylon. The fall of that great city is not the end of the story, however; with the powers and principalities destroyed, the faithful prepare to receive the “marriage supper of the Lamb.” The class meets on the fifth floor and previous attendance is not required.

Condemned into Redemption: Understanding the Crucifixion. The Rev. Fleming Rutledge is the speaker for the 2017 Spring Theology Lecture. Her most recent book, Crucifixion, was named Best Book of the Year by the magazine Christianity Today. The lecture is on Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Coming in March: In March, the Sunday class begins a study of the recent book The Tragic Imagination by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. From the publisher: “This short but thought-provoking volume asks the question, ‘What is it that tragedy makes us know?’ … There is also a fresh discussion of whether religious–particularly Christian–discourse is inimical to the tragic and of the necessary tension between tragic narrative and certain kinds of political as well as religious rhetoric. Rowan Williams argues that tragic drama both articulates failure and frailty and, in affirming the possibility of narrating the story of traumatic loss, refuses to settle for passivity, resignation, or despair. In this sense, it still shows the trace of its ritual and religious roots.” More details on this class are to come.

The Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class: The History of the Church 1: “From house church to organized religion.” This class continues on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall. Primarily intended for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, it is also open to any who are interested in the topic of the day.

On being weird. This week I came across an interview with the charming title, “Not weird enough.” The interviewee, the author of the recent The Catholic Catalogue, says, “I don’t think Christianity is in danger of being too weird. I think it’s in danger of not being weird enough.” She holds that the faithful should explore the particular – even weird! – practices that characterize a specifically Christian life: participation in the sacraments as appropriate, observing the liturgical year, making the psalms second nature, and so on. While I imagine that I wouldn’t want fully to sign onto the program of either interviewer or interviewee, I think the sentiment is just right: contemporary Christians should utilize the riches of Scripture and tradition as we navigate modernity. There is a constant temptation for every generation to consider itself the most advanced, and we forget our heritage to our own detriment. Let’s not be afraid of being a little weird!

Yours in Christ, Joel