Halloween Pub Theology - October 28th, 2019
Join us at 7pm on Monday, October 28th for a Spooky Pub Theology! We'll be at Black Cat (58 Redding Road). Last year, Halloween Pub Theology was one of the favorites - so come talk with us about the power of God and all things that go bump in the night!
Here are the Questions...
1) Halloween comes from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain - when people would light bonfires and wear scary costumes to ward off ghosts. What were/are your favorite kinds of costumes? Were you allowed to dress up as a kid? Was there a costume you always wanted but never were allowed to wear?
2) Samhain turned into a huge cultural event - and to tamp it down, in the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated the day after Halloween as All Saints Day, a time to remember and honor the saints. So, the hope was that God's people would turn away from the darkness and toward the light. What is it about the dark that scares us - and draws us to it?
3) For generations, people have believed that the line between the living and the dead got thinner on October 31st. Do you experience this - or other times of the year - as thin spaces*? Do you think there are times and places when we can hear, see, or experience those who have died and gone before us?
4) Even in ancient times, our scriptures told us to stay away from mediums, diviners, and those who claimed to see the future. Jesus seems to continue in this stream, and he also appears to have power over all manner of spirits. (Take a look at the texts below for a little background!) What do you think about those who claim they can see the future? And about other kinds of spirits? And about the fact that Jesus has power over all of them?
A little homework help.
*Thin places are often sacred spaces and moments - times when it feels like heaven and earth come together - when they almost touch and meet each other. You can read more about one take on thin places here.
When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you must not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practises divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord; it is because of such abhorrent practices that the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
Luke 11:14-19, 24-26
Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.’ Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out?...‘When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but not finding any, it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.’
Never been to Pub Theology before? That's okay! Here's how it works...
We gather together to explore questions that invite us to reflect on who God is and how God works in our lives and in the world. You will sit in small-ish groups to have a conversation and answer the questions until about 8pm. You can order snacks, or dinner, or anything else you'd like.
The one "rule" of Pub Theology is that you tell a real story and then make room for someone else's real story. Meaning, share something that matters to you, and then make enough room in the conversation for others to share, too. The questions are always intentionally designed so there are no right or wrong answers. And as long as we're telling our own stories, it is always okay if we disagree. It's the sharing of the story that matters. So, tell a real story. And let everyone else's story be told, too. Something special happens between us when we share our stories.
Then, stay after 8pm and socialize if you want to!