Subtle, but very present markers

Richard Rohr and company were the leadoff batters on Sunday (previous two posts), followed by a powerful SALT class lesson about an encounter between Jesus and a rich man. John, our teacher, used a video portrayal of that event which showed the rich man arriving and departing with his entourage. It’s hard to give up everything when others depend on you. It was a subtle reminder of tribal webs that both provide identity, yet sometimes limit our possibilities.

Then, a worship service to begin Advent. It was the first time the congregation had passed offering plates since before the pandemic. I have enjoyed simpler, no plates worship but I became teary when the plates and a doxology brought back decades of memories. The entire recorded genealogy of Jesus was read aloud, a first for me. Cristin’s pronunciation skill brought a spontaneous ovation. During the sermon, Stephanie read the genealogy again, noting only the mothers that were mentioned and the many instances where the mother remains unknown to us.

Sunday’s blast of “marker consciousness” continued as I reflected on our many tribal markers (monuments and institutional namesakes). We have a scarcity of global markers for breakthroughs–from parochial, tribal consciousness to a more global, universal consciousness. It was an energizing way to begin the week as I began to look for subtle markers of a more global, inclusive consciousness.

From “gallery one–Monument to Forgiveness,” by Francis Jansen, Kosmos, Fall/Winter 2016

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