I’m listening to “the Divine Liturgy of the Wretched Exiles” by Psalters right now , which is good for contemplating cognitive dissonance. I’m so glad I plugged in this CD instead of listening to Marty Haugen, who is way too serene to be really useful right now. If you haven’t heard Psalters before, check out their website. I really don’t know how to describe it, except maybe as Christian dada, except not really absurdist.
[Image: The Psalters, photo by meltingearth]
I spent two hours tonight walking around vacant parking lots on campus, wrestling with how to explain why I want to be a minister to my capstone class on Wednesday. We have to give an elevator speech (although everyone knows that you never explain your career goals while on a 30 second elevator ride), and I’m struggling to quilt together disparate pieces of insight about conflict resolution and ministry. I get close, but then my doubts burst the seams. How do I stand up in front of an intelligent, fairly liberal group of my peers and tell them that I want to administer the sacraments, dwell in ancient texts, and help people celebrate the presence of the One who binds Herself to humanity—and that this is how I plan to lead people in being more accountable to our neighbors, meeting people’s needs and doing justice? It’s absurd, really.
Which makes me question my desires to be ordained in the first place. If I want to lead Christian communities in social justice ministries (which seems to be what I want to do), then why not get my MSW and get to work as a lay member of a congregation? Why bother with the rest? And the more I think about it, the more I wonder how much of my desire comes from God (whose ways, if He exists at all, are not mine) and how much of it has been colonized by the forces of empire that provide a space for “progressive Christians” like me to do social “justice”—as long as I don’t interrupt the exploitative economic and social processes that allow privileged folks like me to live as I do. I don’t know… I just don’t know.
I wish I was less anxious about these things, like some people. Or maybe everyone’s a little anxious about these things.