Mysterious Theologian: Pastor John Flack of Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church in Manhattan, NY.
(The gunk in his sink)
There you are. That stuff you have to clean out of the drain in the bottom of the sink. Sometimes you’re vegetable. Sometimes you’re animal. You’re always on your way to becoming mineral, if you haven’t been mineral already. You stink. You slime. You clog. Water seeps through you like people moving past an unwashed and schizophrenic homeless man in a subway car. And you always fester when I avoid you. Sometimes, I pull on you, and as I tear you out of the drain, I hear the sound of roots being pulled from the earth.
So let’s pray.
Heavenly and gracious Father:
I love to confess to you the sins I’ve done. Sometimes, I feel accomplished because of all the nasty things I have done. Sometimes, I feel accomplished because I’ve confessed. Direct me to the things I’ve left undone. Let me know the stink of my passivity and alert me to the ways my sloth and my trepidation have hindered my life and the lives of others. Help me to do what you want me to do, especially when I don’t want to do it. Wash me, O Lord, and I will be clean. Save me, and I will be saved. Amen.
CHALLENGE: John Flack challenges Pastor Danielle Miller of Oceanside Lutheran Church in Oceanside, NY with
What’s this? It’s an easy one. It’s the basement of Villa Nellcote, where the Rolling Stones recorded what some consider to be the greatest rock album of all time, Exile on Main St. Others consider it a musical journey through hell. The basement was so dank and humid the guitars would go out of tune by the hour. Nobody remembers exactly what happened there. Keith Richards and Jagger can’t even agree how much music was actually made there, and Jagger to this day doesn’t even like Exile on Main St.
But look at that floor. Yes, it’s covered in ash, body fluids of every kind (every kind) and rotting fruit. That’s just what’s on the floor. I want to hear about the floor itself: it’s gross because it shifts: you don’t just stand on it, you warble on it through time and space and come out, and if you are lucky enough to come out of the room at all, you come out with cassette tapes and a rash. And meanwhile, nothing on it is any good at all, but drugged out, burned up, pissed off. How is God like the most disgusting floor in rock and roll?