Yeah. Like discothèque.
See, I have this great friend. His name is Joel, and he is one of the coolest people I know. We were text-chatting about Episcopalians, because he lives near a red-doored church, and he complained that “Episcopalian” was a pain to spell, and not too memorable. After I told him “Episcopopo” sounded too papist, he came up with “Episcotheque.” Brilliant.
At first, it was a laugh. Getting all dressed up on Sunday morning to get down with my friends at the episcotheque. The disco priest is so fly with those retro vestments. Play that funky music, Mr. Organist. Ha, ha.
But then I though about it some more, and really started to like it. A lot.
Sure, it’s an imperfect metaphor, and not always appropriate. There are some associations with disco culture that I’d as soon avoid. In this case, though, I think the good far outweighs the bad. Think about it: dance clubs are where many people feel like they can be themselves. All kinds and sorts of folks are welcomed in the dim, music-filled, people-packed spaces. So in that way, maybe church is like a holy disco, welcoming the lost and broken, letting people be their truest selves before God. There’s music, there’s people, there’s stained glass dappling the congregation with disco-colored light. There’s not much dancing, at least in TEC, but that’s fine with me, unless we go back to the era when the Foxtrot was popular (I’m about as liable to pop, lock, and drop it as I am to do a backflip or begin speaking fluent Russian).
Then there’s the disco ball. This has been a pet metaphor of mine for a couple of years now, and I finally have a good place to put it. The image was hatched somewhere in college, thanks to some reading or discussion proffering the idea that we all function as tiny mirrors of God. Image-bearers, yes, but we can only reflect the tiniest glimpse of the whole picture. Those around us, though, reflect different bits, and when we come together, we can create a much grander, more vivid reflection than we could ever hope to alone. In my mind, “many tiny mirrors together” became “disco ball,” and there was no going back. Honestly, though, I don’t mind.
God is awesome; why shouldn’t we have a party?