Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Braby" Parker Scott

So I haven't blogged much about our impending fourth child.  Meghan's due around October 31st.  I confess that this wasn't the easiest idea (another child!) at first.  I'll never forget when Meghan told me that she was pregnant.  I immediately said to her, "Um...I'm going to need a minute."

It has taken longer than a minute.

I thought we were done having children of our own.  Brayden was beginning school again, the girls were becoming more independent, and I was looking forward to giving more time and energy to North Street.  But the news gave my plan a "set back."  Of course I knew right away that I would love this child and that I would grow into the same feelings I had for my first three.  And I certainly have.  But to say that it was butterflies and smiles right away would be disingenuous.

Then the other day an overwhelming feeling of excitement and anticipation overcame me.  I can't wait for this guy, despite my uncertainty of how on earth we're going to live with four children.  It's not that our house is too small (it isn't, unless you're measuring by American standards).  It's more so that I have no clue how we're going to make it financially.  I'm praying and researching about this right now.

We still don't have a name for this poor guy!  It's odd.  With Brayden, Brenna, & Brooklyn, it was no trouble at all.  We had their names pretty well set early on.  But with this one, we're somewhat set in the whole "Br-" thing.  We're contemplating something else, but it really wouldn't make too much sense.  And other meaningful Br- names just aren't coming...

...well there is one that I like, but Meghan won't go for it.  I don't blame her.  But the more I read about the guy, the more I wouldn't mind one of my children being named after him.  Phineas F. Bresee is one of the founders of the Church of the Nazarene (his name is pronounced "Breh-ZEE".  Having been pretty much forced from the Methodist Episcopal Church, he founded the original Church of the Nazarene (not initially a denomination) based upon the notion that Christ's church should first and foremost be composed of the poor.  Not just that we should minister to the poor, but with the poor and as the poor.  Now it's pretty likely that this vision was very quickly compromised, and for sure the CotN is so so far from that founding vision, but nonetheless...Bresee was a challenging and formidable man.

Our first three each have a name after someone in our family or church history.  Brayden's middle name is "Wesley," which was my grandfather's middle name and certainly so after the great John Wesley.  Brooklyn's middle name is "Gwen" after Meghan's great aunt Gwendolyn Mann who was a long-time professor at Eastern Nazarene College and who had a profound impact on my mother in heading into education.  And Brenna's middle name is "Munro" after my great aunt, Helen Munro Lahmeyer who was named after Bertha Munro, long-time ENC professor and Nazarene saint.  So "Bresee" seems to fit...

But Meghan just can't do it.  And I understand, because while I like to read about the guy and know who he really was, he is most often in our denomination seen as a sort of "Mr. Nazarene"...which isn't necessarily our kind of thing.  But if we named our child after him, we could tell people what he was really like (as if I even really know...we all know that saints are made after death). 

Anyway, we're taking any and all suggestions.  It's 99% certain that his middle name will be "Parker," which is Meghan's maiden name.  We've jokingly thought about naming him "Bronald" since Meghan's dad's name is Ronald.  Then he'd be "Bronald Parker".  :-)  Just for fun, I've put a poll on the page to see if anyone has any input.

Anyway, his arrival is likely in two or three weeks.  Life will change yet again.  I can't wait. 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Remembering

I think one of the things that most greatly pains me about the Christian Church is the brokenness of her various parts. Often, the Church's voice speaks of the brokenness of the world. As well it should - the world needs some help. But the Church herself is broken and it pains me. And it pains many others who've pretty much given up on the Church. In great part, I can't blame them.

But at the same time, it's nothing new, is it? The people of God have quite often been a collective whore, selling themselves out to whatever the whims or ways of the world are at the time (monarchy or syncretism with Ba'al for Israel, tradition for the Pharisees, Christendom for the Catholic Church, politics for the evangelical Church, and so, so many more examples). But our faith and theology tell us that Christ, the bridegroom is faithful all the while. Do I get pissed off at the Church? For sure...but it's in these moments that the words of Christ (via lyricist Derek Webb) challenge me back: "If you love Me, you will love the Church." In part, we love not because of perfection, but because of potential.

More and more I'm understanding that this side of the Great Resurrection, the Church will continue her shameful ways. This is not to say that I will not strive to do what I can to speak prophetically and to love unconditionally. It's also not to say that we shouldn't strive together to be who we were made and created to be...together...as a people.  But I need to temper my emotions and read Jesus' prayer for his people in John 17 over and over and over again.

So when we began our Sunday evening gathering of communion at North Street, we called it "The Remembrance." There is a lot of intentionality behind the name.  It is a gathering around the table of communion and specifically not around the preached word.  The grace of the table abounds in multiple ways (ways that I'm still learning about and discovering).  But one way we receive the grace of God - that is, we understand who God wants us to be together - is that Christ told us to come together at the table "in remembrance of him."

For sure, this means the general notion of what it tell our children it means: "remember that Jesus died for you."  But it's way more than that. The Greek word here is "anamnesis": to recollect, indeed to remember.  But what does that mean?  To re-collect or to re-member is to put back together the things, the thoughts, or the parts of something.  So...at the table of communion, if we are, as Christ asked us to, doing it to re-member him, then each of us, who is a member, coming to the table is making a decision to put the Body of Christ (the Church!) back together.

So it's my hope that this is what happens at the Remembrance - that it's a symbol, a hope, a desire to right now put back together the Body of Christ.

The Work of the People, as they often do, have just put out a wonderful video.  In it, John Goldingay speaks to this notion of remembering.  He talks about how the Hebrew notion of "remembering" isn't just about the past.  To "remember" means to "be mindful of" (and thus, we can actually "remember" the future").  So to "forget" is to choose "not be mindful of."  (This might help for those who can't understand how God can "forget" sin...)

Give it a watch, and wrestle with me about this "re-membrance" of Christ's Body, the Church.