This afternoon, foregoing a nap, I undertook a pleasant time on the sofa, safely inside, sheltered from the howling Northern Gale. To the sofa I took with me Donald's Lincoln, as well as Niebuhr's Moral Man and Immoral Society. The fellow seeking sanctuary with me this week made green tea about three and we spent a happy quarter hour recalling lost days and misspent youth.
After awhile, he went back to his hockey game. The USA against Canada.
I regained the sofa, with Donald and Niebuhr, happy to find the sun, momentarily distinct from the mostly cloudy day, burning a bright splotch on my sitting place through the bay window in the wall behind the long, white sofa. The book-lined walls of the rectory made me feel as if the room snuggled me in its arms. I once again asked God if Heaven might be a library.
The local classical music station played a "Peter, Paul and Mary" as a requiem to the recent death of Mary Travers. Folk stylings reigned. The hard wood floors, interrupted only by a few thin area rugs, took up the songs and gave back a light echo; nothing harsh or grating.
I thought of the conversational sobriquet my tea-boiling friend had offered me. We have known each other thirty years, served together a tithe of those years.
We have seen one another occasionally for the other twenty-seven years.
"No matter how long it is between our visits," he told me, "it seems like we can take up again exactly as we left off."
Indeed, to take up again, after a Danielite Week of Years absence, to start the conversation exactly where it stopped. Fundamentalism cannot allow the renewed conversation, be it Fundamentalism of the Left or Right. Christian Reunion is probably impossible this side of the parousia, but that makes our Reunion more a matter of time than of place, does it not?
So, if we were prepared to spend time on Christian Reunion, might it come about, that we could take up the conversation at the historical points where they were left off, this time without the stake for the heretics? Might we not offer a respectful nod to the prophets, preachers and popes of the last two centuries without behaving as their worst children?
To reconcile, so to reunite, might play to the great weakness of the church in this generation. The millenials are spiritual, decidedly so, but not at all religious in the traditional sense. They are not joiners, not now, but will they be joiners before they go along much more in life, and what will we hold out to them to join? There seems to be little or not attachment to what is now (which is, after all, what has been), then there is nothing at all to appeal to in the modern sense.
We might see an opening in this age, like sunshine through a bay window on a cloudy day.
Opinions expressed here are my own, not those of my church or any other person.