Well, I suppose most of you are going to want to know how Christopher’s 35th pirate-theme birthday party went. It went well, but it went well sans treasure hunt. We weren’t thinking. We should have known that treasure hunts work well on little kids with Saturday afternoon parties that are over by 6, but thirtysomethings with an open-ended invitation to come anytime after 7:00 pm means they’re not all there until almost 9:00 and by then it’s just too late to turn them loose on the neighborhood. Still, a good time was had by all, and you can see from the pictures that we were able to incorporate some of your ideas anyway.
There was plenty of “Shiver-me-timbers,” “Aye, matey!” and “Arrrr!” going on most of the night, and if anyone left their pirate garb at home, there were more than enough eye patches and skull and crossbones bandanas to go around. I liked it.
I’ve always liked pirates. They seem to me like good, bad guys, which is a fitting moniker for real Christians, I think. I’d like to think of us at the Catch as a bunch of good, bad guys seekin’ truth on the high seas. “Aye, matey?” As a sort of pirate church, we’re not authorized by any theological institution, but we sail the high seas looking for useful goods to rob and plunder. You see, we rob and plunder the good out of things by finding God’s presence and purposes in the world in places and from people where others wouldn’t think to look.
We’re bad. We know we’re bad, but God’s grace has made us good — a goodness we don’t deserve and didn’t create. So if we draw attention to our badness, then God can bring His goodness out in us and there’s no confusion over where it came from. Whereas if we focus on our goodness, we compete with God, and, well, kind of get in the way of His light. His plan is to use us in spite of ourselves, our plan would be to use us because of ourselves which might make us feel important, but it isn’t going to happen, because it won’t get the job done with all the credit going to God. “Them who think they be good for God are land lubbers not fit for life on a pirate ship!”
So join us, matey, on the high seas and we’ll plunder the booty ’n’ string up the land lubbers! Try to affect a swashbucklin’ attitude with yer delivery. There be nothin’ as unconvincin’ as a shy pirate. And keep on catchin’ the Catch. There be plenty more booty where this come from!
“His blessings be upon ye, scurvy dog!”