03 September 2007

You would not believe what I saw...

Yesterday in Strasbourg, all the protestant churches held a service in common in the Parc de la Citadelle. So, I thought I'd go, right? Well have I got news for you: I found that evangelical holy-roller emotive Christianity (which I thought was unique to the US) exists in France. I couldn't believe it! There were praise and worship songs, blared from a 'Gospel Vision' semi truck/stage and sung by euphoric people with raised hands; a very emotional testimony given by a formerly-Jewish woman, complete with Christian buzzwords; a drama enacting some violent repression of Christianity by the state; and an altar call. I was absolutely stunned to find this sort of Christianity practiced in France (traditionally very Catholic) and Europe in general (where fewer and fewer people even attend Church or culturally idenitfy with Christianity). And, for myself, I didn't like it.
So, after the service, I took myself to the fine arts museum (free the first Sunday of every month). Notably, I saw original El Greco, Goya, and Delacroix paintings. My favorite, however, was 'La Strasbourgeoise', a resident of the city painted in her ostentatious early 19th century garb complete with a large hat that extended beyond the width of her hooped skirt. Nice.
And, finally: I bought a fresh, beautiful, tasty baguette today for 70 cents, and almost cried.

1 comment:

sarahesperanza said...

Good to hear that you are in good hands in Strasbourg- praise music, art museums and all.

Last night I went with a few classmates to a cathedral where a mens choir does a half-hour compline of anglican chant every sunday night- it's beautiful and meditative. Afterwards, we were delighted to see some of the new people in our class, so we stopped to chat for a while and meet them- until one of them decided to quote scripture at me for roughly a half an hour and inform me what god says about--well--everything in life.

People are people all over the world- I'm glad to hear the stories of you and your people on that side and know that in some ways, you aren't all that far away.