The Opening Ceremony – Part I

Did the Church Fathers Speak Gobbledygook?

Church Councils

Planning a nice opening ceremony was a BIG challenge for the Reunion organizers! God had allowed everyone to attend in spite of the fact that they were all dead but there had never been an event like this before. There were no clear guidelines to follow. No one even knew whether the attendees had been granted a temporary pass out of heaven or hell or some other place that God had prepared especially for theologians! That was hard to judge because the church fathers spoke so much gobbledygook that it was hard to tell what they were really saying! More than a few Church Fathers were dismayed to see their opponents had somehow avoided the flames of hell. The question on everyone’s mind was “What good are all our excommunications and anathemas if they don’t work and God is merciful anyway?” It was no surprise that planning the Opening Ceremony was  a bit complicated.

People Got Killed at Church Councils!

Seating assignments were carefully selected to help avoid awkward encounters but feelings still ran strong and confrontations were inevitable. It was hoped that an orderly atmosphere would prevail but it soon became clear that the All Stars Reunion would look a lot like the chaotic and often violent Church Councils that dotted church history. One Council even came to be called the Gangster Council after one of its prominent Bishops was viciously beaten and subsequently died! At least in Las Vegas there was no real worry that anyone would get killed since everyone was already dead!

When all the participants were seated the lyrics of “Hail Hail the Gang’s All Here!” appeared on the giant screen and the audience sang it heartily.

            Hail, hail the gang’s all here,  Never mind the weather, here we are together!

            Hail, hail the gang’s all here,  Sure we’re glad that you’re here too!

Constantine Wasn’t Master of Ceremonies This Time

Emperor Constantine was the natural choice for Master of Ceremonies since he had been the de facto Master of Ceremonies at Nicea.  Unfortunately, he was still incarcerated under a 72 hour mental health hold and was unable to attend. To the great delight and frabjous joy of just about everyone, Lewis Carroll the beloved author and Patriarch of Poetry had agreed to be Master of Ceremonies on the first night of the Reunion! None of the Church Fathers had ever heard of him but they recognized him as a brother and true theological All Star as soon as he began to speak.

Lewis Carroll Thought Las Vegas Might Be Heaven

Greetings everyone! It is my singular honor and joy to have this chance to address you tonight! I am just as happy and surprised to be here as you are!  I had never even heard of Las Vegas until now. When I first saw all the brilliant lights I thought Las Vegas might be heaven, but now that I’ve been here a little while I know better! Nevertheless, the food is good and we might as well enjoy ourselves! It was a wonderful idea to hold this reunion! Let’s give a big round of applause to the organizers for all the work they have done.

Audience: Polite applause.

Gobbledygook and Trinitarian Theology

My dear brothers and comrades! You are important and famous and smart! I have read your works with great interest and done my best to follow your example. While my subject matter has differed from yours, my approach has been nearly identical as you will soon see. There is no doubt that you have very important things to say!  There is also no doubt most people have a hard time figuring out what exactly you mean! Some people even say that you, the Church Fathers, speak fluent gobbledygook! Tonight, I am a happy man, knowing that at long last, I am among friends who understand and appreciate my work in the same way I understand and appreciate yours.

Theologians Are Hard to Understand!

We use words most people do not comprehend to convey ideas that are only vaguely understood… if understood at all. You say things that are very weighty and you see things others do not see! We are those who seek to express what makes a great deal of sense to us but hardly anyone else seems to catch on! Shall we then be embarrassed if our words create amazement and befuddlement? No I say! and no again! Let us fulfill our high destiny! This is our duty and our privilege and our calling. Pile on the words I say! Pile them ever higher and make them ever more inscrutable if the situation demands it! To do anything less is a dereliction of duty! (To Be Continued in Part II)

Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes

PS: Who would have ever thought Lewis Carroll might get invited to a Reunion of ancient theologians? But he did and we’re so glad he showed up! We only hope you enjoyed his initial remarks as much as we did. Part II is coming next and it promises to be a real delight. Be sure to take a look… and while you’re at it why not invite someone else?

About the Author – Bob Shutes

The Best Conversations I Ever Had About God

I grew up in the days when parents were not afraid to let their children roam a little so we had the freedom to explore and camp out in the fields and woodlots around us. We told scary stories late at night and cooked over campfires and sometimes we talked about God. We wondered about about eternity and infinity and the mystery of the the night sky and about God Himself. I think they were the best conversations I ever had about God.

Children Ask Good Questions

We often camped out in fields of clover under a starry Michigan sky and we asked good questions! Questions like how did God Himself get started? What is beyond infinity and what was before eternity?  We stretched our minds as only children can and the night sky above us was our classroom. We realized that the mystery of it all was just too big for us to grasp. I’m much older now but I can still smell the sweetness of that clover field and remember the sense of wonder we breathed in.

Negotiating With God

I recall another starry night too. It was on Lake Huron and I was a teenager standing alone on the bowsprit of a old wooden sailboat sailing north in the middle of the night. The mystery and glory of the night sky was so beyond words that I started negotiating with God! “Lord! You walked on water once and showed yourself to your disciples so how about doing that again right now? I promise I won’t tell anyone, it’ll just be between me and you!” ( I thought there was at least a chance He might show Himself to me!) Well I gave it everything I had and tried to cajole Him into appearing, but it didn’t work.

Finally… A Vision of God That Satisfies the Heart

I’m thankful that many years later God finally answered my prayer and opened my eyes enough so that I could begin to know Him and see Him more clearly. If you are reading this I have a hunch you are also someone who is drawn to knowing and seeing God more clearly. My prayer for you is that God will grant you an understanding of the Mystery of God that satisfies your heart and your mind too. Thanks for bearing with my ramblings. I’m glad you came to visit our blog and hope you’ll come again.