March 3, 2008

Try singing "Amazing Grace" without the "wretch like me" in it.

Our pastor referenced an article during Sunday's sermon that made me want to read more. So, I googled the author's name and read it in its entirety. You can read the full article here. You can download his sermon here.

Here are some excerpts that he used that made me interested. But really, read the whole article. You'll be glad you did.

". . . my family attended a first communion service. With the little girls in bridal veils and the little boys in miniature suits, the service had the look of a Munchkin wedding feast. Like weddings, first communion recapitulates baptism, and like baptism it is steeped in the ancient Christian rites of initiation. Traditionally, the baptismal rite begins with the renunciation of Satan. Do you renounce Satan? And all his works? (in various versions the list may include: And all his angels? And all his pomps? And all his worship? And all his empty promises?) . . .

"But at the first communion service we attended, the renunciation of Satan was left out of the renewal of baptismal vows. No doubt this was done with the best of intentions: we do not wish to scare our children nor instill in them a precocious sensitivity to the devil. We do not wish to tempt them to hold witch trials on the playground. And yet by this omission we miss an opportunity to appeal to their moral imagination, their sense that the battle is in earnest . . .

"John has not forgotten that at his own first communion he had to sing "Jesus love is bubblin' over." He would have gladly traded a few of those bubbles for the chance to renounce Satan. Must all the good battles be fought in fictional worlds?"


An excerpt from Renouncing Satan by Carol Zaleski.

2 comments:

natalie said...

I saw a songbook once that said "worm like me" instead of "wretch."

Sara said...

That was a great article. Having 2 boys, I see that the warrior, protector, fighter is ingrained in their very beings. What a great opportunity to teach them about the REAL battle that is going on all around us. Satan is a roaring lion who is seeking to devor...and that is real. It doesn't have to be scary, boys are already ready to fight! I'm not sure if this makes sense, but I really liked the article. :)