Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Favorite Luxembourgish Archbishop

The wife and I entered a brave new world today. We picked up developed photos for the first time in about a year. We generally distrust Walgreen's, having been burned by their low-quality work in the past, but they are just about the cheapest. We even got a photo CD (we're still on film cameras, so electronic pictures are a big deal to us)!

The bright sunshine in Belgium, WI at the Luxembourg Festival made for some good pics. The gentleman second from the left is the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Fernand Franck. There aren't very many Luxembourgish celebrities, so he's about as big a name as you could get, outside the Grand Duke and his family, of course. (Wikipedia sez that upon becoming Grand Duke, Henri "relinquished the styling 'by the Grace of God'" before his titles. Not sure what that means, but I suppose no humility is better than false humility.)

The liturgy and the homily had a number of good things to say about Mary, as she is the patroness of Luxembourg. Marian devotion doesn't creep me out like it does a lot of Protestants; although, some news stories suggest that more Protestants are open to it than ever. Mary is especially attractive to postmodern/emergent types, who are drawn to the fact that she is venerated in wide swaths of the Church, and has been since quite early in the Christian era. Being able to hold up a female role model for faith makes them happy, too.

I have a few thoughts on the topic. They are rambling and jargony, as you've come to expect, but I think I'll share them next week anyway.


Special K said...

You should read A orillas del río Piedra me senté y lloré by Paulo Coelho and then tell me what you think. It's about the female nature of God and how only a small number of Christians believe in her. I think they go a little too far and exclude the male nature of God, but I definitely believe that God is not male. I read a really great article once about the fact that God made man and woman in his image. Something to do with the Hebrew word for man not actually meaning male person, but rather human. It made me really think, though, why our and many other societies have so adamantly proclaimed God to be a man with all the human male characteristics we can think of. Why not a woman? (No, I'm not a crazy feminist demanding equal representation. I'm just curious.) I know that how I relate to God would change vastly if I were to begin to see him wholly as a female, and I wonder if they should. I can't wait for your thoughts!

Mrs. Chaka said...

Well, Special K, it seems that God is often viewed in extremes. An all-powerful, sovereign God is difficult to understand. 1 Timothy 6:16 says that God is impossible to see because He dwells in unapproachable light. To help us understand Him the Bible uses metaphors to describe Him. The most common metaphor is describing Him as father. There are however, multiple places where scripture describes Him as mother (Exodus 19:4, Deuteronomy 32:11-14 to name a few). I believe that the first person of the Trinitarian Godhead (referred to as God the father) is without gender. I simply use the word "He" because English lacks an appropriate neuter pronoun and also because "Father" is the most dominant way of describing him.

The second person of the Trinitarian Godhead, Jesus, we know for sure is male. He came to earth as a man and continues to reign as God's son at His right hand.

I believe that the grammatical structure of Genesis 1:27 makes it clear that both men and women are created in God's image. This verse contains three parallel lines of poetry that each mean the same thing: Humans are created in God's image. The poetical repetition is simply a literary device used to emphasize this point.