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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Day at the Renaissance Festival

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival? Either it makes sense to you or it does not. Basically, for those who have not experienced one, a Ren Fest is street theater where anyone who walks through the gate is a player on the stage...even if the stage is 80 acres. I've been going to them for years, since my college was about 30 miles from a large one located south of Minneapolis, MN. A lot of my friends from college and high school worked the Festival, and so I would go to hassle them...and to meet girls.
When we moved back to Minnesota after living in Chicago, (Chris and I once went to one in Wisconsin while in the Windy City), we started bringing our girls, and they are addicted to the Renaissance Festival. Now, every year about this time, Rachel, Maddy, one of their friends and I pile into my truck and drive down there for a day (this is a seven-hour one-way committment) just to be part of the show...

I don't go to the Ren Fest for the history (there is very little, and what there is provides fodder for jokes. Shakespeare is the bathroom tissue of Ren Fest street theater.) I don't go for the art, pottery, or wooden bowls. I do like the honey there though (and speaking of honeys, for those of you who are single, the Ren Fest is a feast!) There is little sanitation, although the "Men Only" bathrooms gives males in our society an unique sense of entitlement, and the food is a constipatory nightmare...especially for those post-forty. (To note: this year I had, in order: a orange glazed chicken breast on a croissant with coffee for breakfast, a beer, a falafel sandwich and diet coke for lunch, a bread bowl beef stew for second lunch, a beer, some honey mead and chicken wings for a snack, and a beer. Even with the falafel I am still not regular...) I go to the Renaissance Festival to see something unique...and I saw it this year. Aske me about Johnny Phoenix or the Tortuga Twins sometime...preferably with no children around.

That uniqueness is what we Christians call "revelation." As God revealed God's own self in a bush to Moses or on the cross of Jesus, those "revelations" speak about who God is, and what God invites us to do. But you can't plan a revelation anymore than I could plan to see female pirates dressed in pink and black plaid mini-skirts, or belly dancers in chain-mail lingerie.

For Christians, the revelations of God speak to a larger purpose, to a broader vision, and to being part of a larger plan than our own usually mundane, pedantic lives that seem to trap us in futility. Jesus, as the revelation of God, gives us a broader vision to be part of, a larger world to walk around in, and more people to wonder at...which, like those of us at the Renaisance Festival, is all we could ask for.

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