So there has been an uproar as of late due to the invitation of Patti Smith to perform at the Vatican's annual Christmas Concert, which I suppose is rather understandable, throughout not just the Catholic church but throughout Italy and beyond. In many ways it causes me to think back to the Anne Rice on-again-off-again involvement with the Catholic fellowship, does anybody remember that, does anybody really know how that ever ended up, or perhaps it is just muddy water under a bridge at this point.
Unquestionably the Godmother Of Punk Patti is as synonymous as Bob Dylan, John Denver, Bob Marley, Larry Norman, and Glenn Kaiser, each in their own rights the driving force of their musical genre.
In recent years the Catholic church has made great strides in reaching out to a newer younger hipper generation. The popularity of the Taizé Community, and thus Taizé music, has played a big part of the excellerated growth of young people back to the faith, I tend to believe. We live in a world that is music-centric and the newer, usually younger, generation that are starting to fill the pews are forcing a change; Suor Cristina Scuccia being a prime example of this.
A lot of the blogosphere is talking so much about all of this issue that I think most of them are missing one really important point... that grace has no boundries.
Here at ChristianBlog.Com we have a saying that "no man knows the heart of another man, so it is wrong for us to say who is and who is not a child of God". This is one of my core principles in my ministry. The signs over the doors of a house of worship should not matter. Or, even if there are no signs over the doors, which would probably be the best thing ever for Christendom. Dare I say that even if there is no house of worship it should not matter, for no man knows the heart, but God and God alone.
For her part, Patti in her early life did not walk the ways of Christ as best as I can gleam. I think that can be said of most people who consider themselves children of God. After all we have all fallen short of the glory of God. All of us. Redemption is at the heart of it all. Finding the path to a heart of flesh after living a life with a heart of stone. We can no more lay blame for ones early years as we can for ones elder years, and let us not set aside the knowledge that many people choose the path of easy in their elder years rather than continuing down the path of narrowness.
It is not for me to say whether or not Patti Smith should or should not play at a vatican christmas concert. It is not may place to say if she is or is not a child of God.
In my nearly twenty years in the ministry I have learned that it is not my place to do anything but continue to help out others to find grace, redemption and the blessings of God.
Perhaps the bigger question than going back and forth over one singer at one concert, is to be asking ourselves what can do we to bring further aware of God's grace and the redemption of Jesus Christ to one-and-all this holiday season.