Thursday, September 22, 2011

i still haven't found...

there are some things in life that a human being needs to be reminded of over and over. these messages can be found at the heart of all life.

they are:
man was not meant to be alone.
life is about the journey, not the destination.

when we lose sight of those two things - we lose sight purpose, meaning, restoration and hope.

it's not coincidental that those two themes are prevalent throughout the pages of the Holy Scriptures - from Genesis to Revelation.

while reading Maggi Dawn's book The Writing on the Wall this afternoon i was reminded of these themes. there is uncertainty in life. we'd like for things to be tidied up, wrapped in a box with a bow placed on top - but that is not our reality. life is messy and we all need restoration. we all need companionship. without the possibility for reconciliation and community man can not help but lose hope... and when you take away a man's hope - you take away his life.

but our hope is found in salvation. our hope is found in the journey.

i like how Maggi Dawn puts it:
"The Bible does not really give a picture of salvation as a simplistic answer to everything, but as a moment in an unfolding quest."

we are on an unfolding quest. together. but like the U2 song says "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." we may not know everything about the journey or where it may be leading us - but we still search. we must! our road is lined with simple messages - opportunities for us to connect with others, to connect with the earth and to connect with a loving God. and the journey is essential to our life.

remember what brought down Adam & Eve in the garden? Pride.

if we think we've arrived then we've reached a dangerous place. if we think we know a better way than God then we are bound for destruction.

if we think we can go it alone along the path then we're bound to wander - like the one sheep out of the 99. (but remember how the shepherd goes after that lost one?) you can't make it on your own. nobody can.

God has a plan. God has a purpose for us all. but we must seek. we must not remain stagnant. we must cry out. we must keep hope alive. and despite the fact that we don't know everything... and despite the fact that we at times feel alone and even despite of ourselves - God shows us a light. and the light is life. remain in the light... it brightens our path... it highlights our unity.

may we journey down the winding road together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

thoughts on 9/11

On 9/11 I thought, For the most powerful, militarized nation in the world also to think of itself as an innocent victim is deadly. It was a rare prophetic moment for me, considering Presidents Bush and Obama have spent billions asking the military to rectify the crime of a small band of lawless individuals, destroying a couple of nations who had little to do with it, in the costliest, longest series of wars in the history of the United States.

The silence of most Christians and the giddy enthusiasm of a few, as well as the ubiquity of flags and patriotic extravaganzas in allegedly evangelical churches, says to me that American Christians may look back upon our response to 9/11 as our greatest Christological defeat. It was shattering to admit that we had lost the theological means to distinguish between the United States and the kingdom of God. The criminals who perpetrated 9/11 and the flag-waving boosters of our almost exclusively martial response were of one mind: that the nonviolent way of Jesus is stupid. All of us preachers share the shame; when our people felt very vulnerable, they reached for the flag, not the Cross.

September 11 has changed me. I’m going to preach as never before about Christ crucified as the answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. I have also resolved to relentlessly reiterate from the pulpit that the worst day in history was not a Tuesday in New York, but a Friday in Jerusalem when a consortium of clergy and politicians colluded to run the world on our own terms by crucifying God’s own Son.

~Will Willimon, presiding bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church

as quote in Christianity Today - from the article How Evangelical Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11 found here and here.