Archive for June, 2009

Mark 5:21-43

June 28, 2009

Mark 5:21-43

For the past two weeks Stuart and I have been on a trip through Russia with an alumnae group from my college.  Our leader was a retired professor of economics, Marshall Goldman, whose special field of interest has been the USSR and now Russia.  In addition to his lectures he introduced us to several Russian leaders along the way, including Gregory Yavlinsky, the leader of one of the opposition parties.  If you asked me what made the deepest impression on me, though, I would have to say the people – not the special people, such as Yavlinsky, but the ordinary people we passed on the street.  I thought to myself: they look like victims; not a glimmer of joy. (more…)


Trinity Sunday

June 7, 2009

Today we celebrate the Trinity.  Right off the bat you might not see a connection between Pygmy people and the Trinity.   Nevertheless, I want to tell you a vignette about a group of Pygmies.  It is meant to serve as a kind of angelus bell for the Trinity.  About forty years ago Jean-Pierre Hallet, a Belgian anthropologist, gave a lecture on the Pygmies, which I attended.  From that lecture I now remember only one curious fact.  When Hallet took a group of Pigmies out of the rain forest one day, and pointed to a human figure in the distance, they hooted with delight.  Tom Thumb!  No, no, Hallet assured them; this was a full size person, but distance made him seem small.  The Pygmies would not be convinced.  He proved his point, of course, by walking toward the person; but he in turn realized that for those who have never been able to see further than a few feet, reality appears warped.  We’ll come back to this in a few moments. (more…)