Thursday, March 11, 2010

Emperor Arcadia, spit-laced chicken sandwich, and Free Road Food: Missional Sacraments part 2

(Part 1 here)

Even though I am still part travelling salesman, I've got nothing to sell.

Even though many churches justify it, I can't imagine selling donuts in church.

It is hard to completely

detox down

from the system which

Botoxes-up evangelism as sales.

Isaiah 55:1:

"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost."

That such "strategy" is counterintuitive to us who are in (so-called)"full-time ministry"
is perhaps hinted at by a verse (8) just a bit further on in that chapter:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

I don't even want to think about thinking about the gospel as a product.
I fear that I might even echo the sounds of "saaaaaaaaaaaaaaalesmen."
I don't want to be sold out to Simony (click if that is a new word for you; as it is precisely the point I am about to make).

I've got to give it away indiscriminately.
One can only keep what they give away.

That goes for food.

We are called to give it away on the road.

Following up on several great stories told on
my post on sacraments being intrinsically missional..

..all I can say is the Emperor Arcadia story is amazing,
and hugely relevant.
Thanks to St. Mark Scandrette for posting it online
(it's part of his "Soul Graffiit" book).
Mark is quick to qualify that this is not a program, or even him saying we should do a version of the same.

But without making it a program, I think we should all do a version of the same.

Suffice to say meeting and "ministering to" someone with as sign like this on the bus which is their home...


..would be a stretch.

Someone named "Emperor Arcadia," (actual photo) who though a bit unstable, has some prevenient-grace sense of sacrament:
Baptism?He ritually washed himself daily in a solution of vinegar, bleach, dish soap, and urine
Communion? When you read the heartbreaking story, you will see how Mark and his friends loving the Emperor over various meals that he often "officiated at"; sacred meals of strawberry milkshake, spit-laced chicken sandwich, Italian sausage sandwich (“Make sure you get it with mayonnaise and provolone cheese")and prime rib dinner are blessed elements indeed.

That is the whole worldview behind missional meals/Love Feasts/church "meatings."

The story ends...I didn't know or guess how it would end...with the whole point.
Which is not the point.
This the paradox we all live in. We love without condition, and without requiring conversion.
"Is an act of love only significant because of the change it produces? Or, can the meaning be in the act itself," Scandrette asks.

The end of the story, someone says
“That sounds like the kind of church I would love to join”

Without being driven by selling our church, or God's Christ, how sweet and Spiritaneous it is when someone says something like that.

It may only happen when sacraments are road food.

And may only begin when you dare to read the story of Emperor Arcadia.
(or listen to it..I remember seeing an audio link somewhere at that link, bit can't find it now.)

Read it now, and come on back to comment.
From the soaring sublime to the (partly) ridiculous....but on the same point:

Who knows what the lyrics to The Guess Who's "Road Food" are intended to be all about (I'm afraid I do know!!)....but I can't refrain from singing the refrain....and knowing that somehow in the Spirit's stealth sovereignty, it's also about putting the Kingdom show...oops, that's exactty the wrong word, how about "food"..on the road.

How missional is that?

"Each night smacks of new wonder..

..Smile and nod your head, dead is live is dead.

......ROAD FOOD!":


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