Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why put those two at the same table?

Today is the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul. Two men who probably never met and were polar opposites.

When I was at Virginia Seminary I wrote an article for 'The Ambo' (if you don't know what an 'ambo' is you're not an Episcopalian--it's the stand where the readings take place) the student newsletter about how the front door to Aspenwall Hall, the main building, was "Pauline" not "Petrine"

I meant it was rigid, hard to open, difficult to maneuver around. Paul was like that. Paul knew what was 'right' and what was 'wrong'. Peter, God bless him, could never figure out what to do. He was the one who denied Jesus and yet was the 'Rock' ("Petros" in Greek) the church is built upon.

Peter was all over the place--not knowing the right answers at the end of John's Gospel (Jesus asks, "Peter, do you 'agape' me?" And Peter answers twice, "Lord, you know I 'philios' you.") Agape is love with no bounds and Philios is, like Philadelphia, love between friends. It takes 3 askings for Peter to get it right.

I got over my dislike of Paul when the one woman on the faculty let me do a directed study of his letters by reading them in the order they were written, not the order they are in the New Testament. Dr. Mariann Mix saved me from my Pauline hatred--but I still like Peter much better.

I'm much more a Peter than a Paul. Lurching around looking for answers rather than 'knowing' the answers.

So why did they give these two a shared saints' day?

They wouldn't have gotten along. Believe me (as a 'Peter'-type) I don't play well with 'Paul'-types. Just doesn't happen.

Happy both ends of the spectrum Holy Day!

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.