About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Ancestor worship

Do Presbyterians worship ancestors?
OF COURSE NOT! But perhaps, they should give it some thought!
     I do not mean any strange and peculiar form of worship, no trance dancing around camp fires, no spiritistic seances or veneration of saints, rather I am thinking about recognition and acknowledgment that we do not live in vacuum. We have roots, and we can draw strength and hope from them!
    After all, we are who we are because of thousands of genes we inherited from our ancestors. We came to life only because of our parents, and their parents and theirs... But true ancestors, in a spiritual sense, are a broader category than that! We are who we are because of the complex interactions and influences of society, our teachers, pastors, mentors, colleagues and friends.... We live and can exist only as an interwoven part in the broadest tapestry of life.
    Modernity, especially in its superficial-consumerism form or in its more sinister totalitarian form, attempted to cut people off from their ancestral roots. That way, it was easier to delude and manipulate them. And it is true that ancestors could hardly have helped us with the complex new aspects of our lives and technological advancements. But that is not and never has been the role of true ancestors. Their primary function has always been to provide spiritual and emotional grounding and a safe haven, to remind us of our roots, and to reintegrate us with the ancient and broad river of life.
    That is not that foreign to our Calvinistic faith as it might first sound (didn’t I call us Calvinists just this moment?!). Come this Sunday: under biblical inspiration we will seek together, celebrate and draw strength from our personal as well as shared spiritual ancestors.

1 comment:

Muthah+ said...

This is never a problem for us Episcopalians, Andrew. We worship anything that is old! ;>D

While remembrance is essential to faith, it can also be the thing that prevents the Spirit from acting. It is when "We have always done it that way" become the Seven Last Words of the Church that we find the weight of history a problem. Church can't be just moralism either. We have to be willing to allow that ineffable encounter with the Holy be what allows all our remembering to have the symbolic power in our lives.