Friday, May 01, 2009

Bath and Meal

Tucked away in Volume III of Oden's Systematic Theology, p. 274, is this:

"In acts of mercy to the homeless, the poor, and the alienated, the serving church offers simple acts of cleansing and feeding. Nothing is more prized to the homeless than a bath and a meal. Nothing is more characteristic of the church's identity and self-offering than bathing and feeding."

A good word, you say, but how is that news?

These three sentences introduce, not a section on social ministry, but (amazingly, without commentary on the radical retooling it entails), the section called
"Bath and Meal,"

which (of course) means:

baptism and communion!

How about that? "Sacrament" as an offering to the poor, and service to the homeless.

Or the other way around?


  1. My guess is the other way around - we live into the sacraments, and by connecting to the needs of others our religion is purified of insulating tendencies!

  2. absolutely!

    can't wait to see what other gems are tucked away in Oden


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!