The Pagan Pulpit – Doubt but Not Denial

Happy Sun’s Day:

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: Eminem – Not Afraid

With Eminem for me it really depends on the song whether I like him or not.  I like this one because it is very much a comeback song and I need a comeback song. In any case, the song has its musical moments that I like.

Poem: 

Solitude – Lord Byron

To sit on rocks, to muse o’er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene,
Where things that own not man’s dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne’er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o’er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude, ’tis but to hold
Converse with Nature’s charms, and view her stores unrolled.

But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
And roam alone, the world’s tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendor shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

It wouldn’t be fitting not to have Lord Byron Poem when I am also quoting him for my text this week. Solitude is something I am acquainted with and something at times I desire.  He hints at what it means to be alone and it is not solitude with nature but to be among our fellow-men and not feeling anything.  Without connection to something we feel alone, even in a crowd.  Boy do I get that.

Meditation: 

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Song of Preparation: Disturbed – Prayer

Don’t normally pray, but this isn’t really a prayer but a reflection on loss and doubt in God.  I understand this better now more than ever.

Text:

There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off.  In short, I deny nothing but doubt everything.

Sermon:

I find that the hardest thing personally to grasp at times is my turn from Christianity.  Not because I don’t think it was right decision or wasn’t in the end reasonable but the constant reminders this time of year of a holiday I no longer celebrate the Christian side of.  I got my oil changed and the guy asked me if it was OK to wish me a ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Holidays’.  Do what you want to do. I am not offended. It does however remind me of something that I no longer hold sacred.  It’s not about the Mass to Christ anymore to me. It’s about family and Yule.

I, like Lord Byron, have always had a bit of the pagan in me.  I have enjoyed this quote by Byron for long time because it makes sense to me. This tug of war between the side of me that wants to place my faith fully in something and be open to all possibilities and the other side of me who is the hardened skeptic that doubts everything. It however is a tension I have come to think is beneficial.  What I want “to believe in is the world the promised it would be, not the tawdry, fouled-up mess it is.”

I suspect this pagan part of me will always be there and I don’t regret that because it means I will hopefully find a way to walk this world that enjoys the wonders of it and yet, seeks the truth of it.  No matter how ugly the reality may be I remain both hopeful and a skeptic.

Closing Song: Skyrim – The Song of the Dragonborn

Yeah, I know it is a song about a fictional character for a video game – The Dragonborn. Except the song is epic and the lyrics with the singers are also epic. A good way to build up our courage for the week ahead.

Parting Thought: 

Image result for villain in someone else's story

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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