Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ritual within Community

Last night our small group dedicated and anointed my three boys with oil (maybe some video tomorrow?). I'm finding, at 32, with a family, that I'm becoming more and more a person of ritual. I hate ritual and tradition for the sake of ritual and tradition, but within the context of community, ritual and tradition come alive for me. I wonder if this is what was missing in the churches I grew up in. We knew everybody, but we didn't really know anyone. But when I engage in practices that are meaninful to my community, they take on new significance and meaning for me. And so, the guy who has rejected so much religious tradition in his life & ministry now anticipates the next time his small group gathers for a baby dedication. (i'll talk more about my boys later)


brian said...

Great stuff charlie. I've come around to appreciate the many meaningful rituals too. Things I might have missed earlier in my journey.

Tom H. said...

Charlie; If you like ritual, you'd love the Jourey Home on EWTN(Insight cable 15)hosted by Marcus Grodi. Try it on Monday's at 7:00pm or Saturday night at 10:00pm. Give it a peep.

ckd said...

I don't have cable, so I'm out of luck...

I'm not sure that I want to go so far as saying that I love ritual, only that it seems that I am creating rituals, and I'm beginning to enjoy some of my own.

It's still hard for me to connect to rituals in general.

Courtney C said...

Hey Charlie. I came across this verse in Matthew tonight and thought it seemed applicable here. Matthew 23:4: "Instead of giving you God's Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals [talking about the Pharisees]."

I think it is so cool to think of God's Law and the rituals that came with it at this time as a way to banquet with God. When you think about it, a banquet serves three functions: to feed the physical body, to commune with the host of the party, and to commune with the guests at the party. As such, our rituals, when we approach them as Jesus suggests, provide us with spiritual nourishment, allow us to encounter God, and share that experience within our Christian community.

I have rebelled against ritual a lot since my high school years, but I too am starting to come around. I suppose God probably made us that way. :-)