Saturday, July 26, 2008


What do ya'll think about this?
"This is what rituals are for.  We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down.  We all need such places of ritual safekeeping.  And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn't have the specific ritual you're craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.  If you bring the right earnestness to your homemade ceremony, God will provide the grace.  And that is why we need God."

I wish I knew who said this.  I'll refrain from comment until I get your feedback.  So go........


charlotte carroll said...

Isn't this the appeal of the catholic church? The appeal in having some ritual and ceremony in everything we do. As someone who we both love said "that is what marriage is good for, it makes a sacrament out of things ye'd otherwise have to confess"...:)

I think as reformed christians we can find ritual in daily activities. Hannah Fowler shows this in her life. Finding the sacred in the mundane and the necessary. You can, of course, take it to far. But in moderation, its something that really inspires me.

charlotte carroll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
charlotte carroll said...

Creating your own spiritual ceremony in Worship is along the lines of what Cane did. Didn't end well for him did it? IN Worship is another matter all together. and totally unacceptable. BUT... I will say that I leave it up to the Judgers to decide what that line is...:)

shall I say... "regulative principle"

Susan L said...

This is from Eat, Pray, Love. I googled it! :-)

I love ritual and tradition, when they are God honoring.

I like what Charlotte said about Cain! Apt.

From the quote: "If you bring the right earnestness to your homemade ceremony, God will provide the grace. And that is why we need God"

Earnestness is good as long as we're earnest for God's way, God's truth, God's reality. But to make up our own way of dealing with our "complicated feelings of joy or trauma"-- however earnest we are-- and then expect God, in His grace, to bless it, is way off the mark. God is not a good fairy, smiling His approval at our earnest attempts.

God's way of dealing with our "complicated feelings of joy or trauma" is through the Cross. We have His Word to guide our steps, and His way is good, whether we initially like it or not. He blesses obedience to Him and His Word, not earnest effort at doing good in our own way.

And I shouldn't be posting this because I'm writing quickly, as an immediate reaction, off the top of my head...


Julie said...

This quote fits hand in glove with the "self help" mindset that is so widely present in our culture.
Work it out yourself and then ask God to bless it.

It also smacks of works righteousness..."If you bring the right earnestness to your homemade ceremony, God will provide the grace."...expecting God's reward of grace for my earnestness."And that is why we need God." ...sounds like our need for God is for Him to back up our choices!

That being said, we must draw a line between developing personal or family rituals and developing worship rituals. As Charlotte already noted, creating your own worship ceremony is forbidden in Scripture- which effectively negates the majority of "Christian" worship rituals that are presently employed in churches today.

As Christians we have great freedom to order our lives in the framework of God's eternal word/commandments. The point I want to make is that we must start with God and his Word, not ourselves.

That being said, if our choices for ritual, celebration, habits are not forbidden by scripture and they agree with biblical principles, then we can hope for God's blessing ...not because of our earnestness, but through faith and humble obedience to God's Word

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