Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, February 02, 2015

Theology from Barney? - Rector's Rambling for February 1, 2015

“I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family….” 
If you are a parent of a young child, or a parent of children born in the 1990s or 2000s, you probably read those words above in a sing-song voice and a bit of nostalgia or repulsion.  That is the closing theme song of the PBS television show Barney and Friends.  On the first Sunday in Advent, and the first Sunday in Lent at my last parish (and since coming here the first Sunday in Pre-Lent) I look at myself in the mirror in my purple vestments and remember the child at St. Mary’s in Charleroi who told me that he really liked by church clothes today because I looked like Barney (he is a purple dinosaur).  I laughed then, since my oldest son Sam loved that show, and it is a fond memory now of those days, even if hearing the sound of the purple one singing  makes me a bit nauseous.
 But the words of the song above, in its simplicity, is the crux of the eternal gospel message.  God loves us, and we love him, and by that love (and of course baptism) we are a family.   The entire Christian Church is family, the Episcopal Church is family, the diocese is family, and St. John’s is immediate family.  If we put first things first (Faith in Jesus Christ and a desire to love Him) then disagreements can be looked at from the inside, as family. 
The song concludes, “with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too.”   It may not be the most theological of constructs, but if I have to look like Barney today, then why not think of Jesus’ message of love from Him to you, and your response?