Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, March 20, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

I’m thinking about getting a tattoo. For two reasons:

First, Nadia Bolz-Weber has tattoos. And she says bad words, out loud, during her sermons. It’s probably just as well she did not come along sooner, or I would have tried to emulate her on my last Sunday in the ministry. [Any Sunday I had emulated her, it would have been my last Sunday.] I’ve always been attracted to women like Nadia, bad girls with tattoos. You can’t get much badder than marrying a tattooed girl from Gary, Indiana.

Second, it is “appointment” season. Methodist ministers are not called or hired. They are appointed by the bishop, who presumably knows where God wants each pastor. God apparently has it in for certain churches. Announcements are being made even now about which pastor will be appointed where, at the start of the conference year, July 1.

So I’m thinking about appointments and tattoos.

I think the best appointment ever made was that worm that God told to cut down the shade tree over Jonah’s head.

Jonah was so disappointed when he heard that God had appointed him to the Nineveh Circuit that he ran away. [Before bishops, apparently God just made appointments directly. ] Jonah got on a Holland-Nineveh cruise ship. Got thrown overboard by the Philipino crew who mistook him for an albatross. [Cruise ships are usually staffed by Philipinos, but maybe it was Philippians. The various ancient texts are a little quibbly there.] Got swallowed by a thirsty whale. [Thirsty Whale also being the name of a tavern where I live. This is the very first time I have realized it is a biblical tavern.] Gave the whale gas and got burped up on the shore. Went up on the hill where he could have a good view of Nineveh getting drone-bombed by God.

And then, the scriptures tell us, “God appointed a worm to the Shade Tree Circuit, to cut down the shade over Jonah’s head, so he could no longer avoid going to Nineveh and speaking the truth God had appointed him to speak.” [Reversed Standard Vision translation]

So, a tattoo, either of Nadia or the worm.

John Robert McFarland

Yes, Helen really has a tattoo. Back in nuclear scare days, school children in cities were tattooed on their ribs with their blood type, like there would be anything left that needed blood after an atom bomb. However, she resents being called a Gary girl. Her family moved there when she was 10, but she still calls Monon, IN home.

You can read Nadia Bolz-Weber’s bad words, and a lot of really good ones, too, in PASTRIX [Jericho Books]

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]

I tweet as yooper1721.

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