Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sermon: All Saints' - Year B

Aristotle complained that the act of writing diminished memory. He was concerned that once we write something down we don’t have to remember it anymore.

For folks like me, this sounds more like a godsend than a curse. Shopping lists. Phone numbers. Short reminder messages. All these things on little scraps of paper are, for me, as important to my getting along in the world as a telephone or toilet paper.

So maybe, I’m the living example that proves that Aristotle was right. We don’t need to tax our grey matter because we have pens and paper, or styluses and Blackberrys, to remember things for us.

But Aristotle worried that, even in writing down the most trivial lists, something is lost, a way of thinking, remembering, and relating – even a way of life - was given away.

Communications theorists say that this marked the transition from the Oral culture to the Literate culture. But in that transition, a link to the past was broken, a human connection marked by the simple act of one person telling another person a story.

Our Anglican and Roman Catholic friends say that the line through history that connects us with Jesus is bishops, because every bishop has had hands laid on them by other bishops, back through the centuries to the times of the apostles, even back to Peter himself. They call this “apostolic succession.”

But I wonder if God also works in less churchy ways. I wonder if the line that connects us from today back to Jesus’ time is...(the whole thing here)

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