“But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man’s life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very – how should I say it? – dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.”
Ayn Rand (Playboy interview)
I’m still reading about Ayn Rand. This passage took me about an hour to find. It’s only PART of her quote on Faith. She was an Atheist and followed what she called Objectivism. I still think she is one of the smartest authors I’ve read, even if I don’t agree with her here. Want to read the whole passage? I found it Here.
I was excited to go to church in person yesterday. Another thing my younger self would never have imagined saying. I miss the people. I miss learning from a rector who makes the scripture come alive so that I can understand it better. He makes it relatable.
Like yesterday. The Gospel was John 6:1-21, when Jesus Feeds 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish. And has 12 baskets left over. Our Rector’s sermon was about the miracle of the leftovers. It was all about how Jesus fed all of those people until they were “SATISFIED” and still had leftovers. Of course the apostles, as usual, were tied up in knots, except for Andrew, the eternal optimist, who spotted the boy with the basket of 5 barley loaves and 2 fish and told Jesus, to be helpful.
I listened to the sermon and then there were a few announcements. One was how, if you wanted, you could request private Communion and you would be able to drink from the chalice and have the host. Right now, in church, the Rector goes pew to pew and distributes the hosts individually to us in little crimped paper ketchup cups. No full communion in the church right now, due to Covid. He made a comment during the announcements about the private communion and said something like, “You will be the only one to drink from the chalice-not even I will drink from it.”
It was like a lightening bolt hit me. Here we are, FINALLY ATTENDING COMMUNION TOGETHER and we really weren’t. It wasn’t a full communion. We don’t exchange handshakes and hugs. Even the offering plate isn’t passed. We just resumed singing and aren’t required to wear masks. Some weren’t there because of health concerns or restrictions. Some weren’t there because of conflicts. That’s ok. But for over a year, because of Covid, we have been restricted by our government and the government of the diocese from meeting in person to worship and practice our faith with family and friends. I just heard a passage about faith and it struck me. What would Jesus do today? There were no hand wipes or hand sanitizer in his day. Disease was rampant and people came from everywhere to be healed. HE is the ultimate sanitizer. Now I know what some of you are thinking (especially those who aren’t believers) that you don’t need to be in church to have faith or to do good deeds or be moral. But I need that weekly reboot. There are so many cross references to the “Communion” feast in the scriptures. I never even thought about it, because the the nuns kept that stuff under wraps, and then today, the lessons were all about it and yet, here we are. Partial communion, still. I know, there is the doctrine of concomitance where one element counts as the complete Eucharist in situations like babies, recovering alcoholics and things where people can’t drink the wine. It was never about disease.
So I turned to Jay and said, “what the heck! The Gospel was all about miracles and Faith in God and even though we have learned and felt our faith again and again, because we haven’t been allowed to be in church together for so long, do we really have faith, or are we just like the apostles? If we had faith, the doors would have been open and we wouldn’t fear catching or spreading a virus, especially here-during COMMUNION!” He just looked at me and said, “That’s what I’ve been saying all along!”
Oxford Dictionary Definition
1 . the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”in this churchyard communion with the dead was almost palpable”
2. the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.”Communion was celebrated once a month”
Another question Jay posed on our way home from church, “Are we in communion with God, or God AND your fellow man?” What say you? He gets me thinking for sure.
What gives? It’s only Monday and I’m already worn out from thinking. This is why I need to be in communion with my faith community.
Today, I’ll be at the docs for part of the day and I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. Right now I have alpacas to feed and things to do!
Are you watching the Olympics? I thought this scene looked so odd so I grabbed a picture.
In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.
Have a blessed day!