Today I decided to cut my "commute" distance in half, and instead of the large church across town went to the Presbyterian place just downtown. It's been a while, being in a comparatively little church. Not as flashy, not as heart-splitting, but very very comforting.
In a way it was like going back in time a bit, walking into the sanctuary - it could easily have been designed by the same sixties-modern guy that did the "ski-jump church" I grew up in. For a visual - cross the building shapes from the old 60's Star Trek mattes with some hippy album cover art, and there ya go. That's the aesthetic. Dated certainly, but it has its own charm if you grew up with it.
Also of course hearing the old doxology and suchlike were a great salve to the soul... there is something viscerally touching about the ritual of a traditional church service. Coming on the heels of Independence Day, much of the service was reflecting on the place of our nation, the "Shining City on the Hill" image Reagan spoke of. And truly, this nation *has* done an astounding amount of good in the world, due in no small part to our religious heritage I believe. Bad too of course, we're fallible humans individually, and all the more so collectively. And yet, the world's become a much brighter place for America's participation in it.
That said, I admit it was hard for this ol' Johnny (Janie?) Reb to sing "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" along with the congregation. Still, as Dad says "Deo didn't Vindici*"
So that's been the day. It's a quiet overcast rainy afternoon, peaceful and nice.
Take care y'all. Love.
* To those that missed the reference:
"Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" is the first line of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" - a song "filked" into a Union anthem by northern abolitionists in the War Between the States.
"Deo Vindici" was the motto of the Confederate States of America - it means essentially "God Will Vindicate Us." And well... we lost. God didn't vindicate us, as it happened.
So - while to this day I still think we were well within our rights to secede from the Union, and indeed believe the consolidation of Federal power following the war was a very bad thing - there's no doubt we were very very wrong on the cause to *why* we were seceding. And so I suppose as hard as it is, I can accept that judgment.