Wanderings and Ramblings…

Megaphone I don't know where this post is going to go.  It is the day after Easter Sunday…my first Easter back in the "professional ministry" saddle after a few years living more in a movement than in an institutional setting.  I had a great time yesterday…it was wonderful to don the "robe" and do the traditional worship setting…but then it was wonderful to pick up my guitar, have puppets on hand, drum tracks blazing in the background and sing "active" songs with wide-eyed children who delighted in worship as David did when he danced before the ark with abandon (1 Chronicles 15 if you want to read the story).  Interesting, David's dancing embarrassed his wife at the time as much as our more "lively" worship experience did some (though, I must add, very few) of the more "staid" and static in our faith community.  That's OK though because I don't expect or anticipate anything but that reaction.  Many people who find the flow of their lives as participants in faith communities struggle with personal preferences and prejudices.  Add that to the prevailing winds of culture not only influenced but steeped in consumerism and you have almost the perfect "storm" for dissatisfaction.  Those of us who love the Body of Christ (commonly known as the Church) are constantly challenged more by the meaning of the word, "unity" than by diversity.  Conceptually, diversity has a good "ring" to it.  We would all love to see a wide variety of people involved in a rich tapestry of the community's make up.  We like the idea of diversity…living with it though is a different story.  We all love the diversity of the Body as long as that diversity doesn't impinge itself on "my" preferences.  For some, they equate unity with uniformity…thus the problem.  Sometimes the story of the community's past impinges itself on what the definition of that community's present and future is or can be.  One of the issues of faith and the Christian story is that each generation has to own the story in their way and according to the specific lens of their experience.  For some the precious glue of tradition that held together communities in the past is no longer that which coaleses people or that which brings the practice of faith into a vibrant reality in their lives. 

Even so, the "journey" through these issues is worth it…it is an energetic, exciting and important journey.  It is a disciple-making journey in that evey disciple needs to learn to give preference to their "brother and sister" in the Lord.  The discipline of submission is still one to embrace within our lives.  Helping people understand that the Kingdom is too big and the need to incarnate it (as well as look forward to more and more of it) too important to be wasting our time on preserving personal preferences.  While we battle over what "I like or don't like", we are missing the point.  In many respects, that which consumes so much of our faith community's time and energy is only doing what serves the agenda of the Enemy more than that of God – keeping us focused on ourselves and our pettiness instead of training, equipping and releasing each of us to be engaged in living the Kingdom in all of our relationships.  There have been many times in my "professional ministry" life where I wish I could have every minute spent back that I've spent discussing donuts, the color of carpeting, who/who can't use the kitchen facilities, what style of music is faithful to our tradition, whether we have pews or chairs or a host of other subjects that appear NOW to be inconsquential.  I'm excited about the fact that I'm in a place these days where at least the people in our faith community are discussing and debating the real issues of faith – how to grow as disciples and what that looks like within the flow of our story but MOST IMPORTANTLY our place within God's story.  We're talking how to track God's Spirit in our time, place and relationships…yes, that's risky but it is a risk that is worthy and fun to take! 

Ok – I'm done rambling…I don't even know what I "said"…maybe it will make sense when I read it…maybe it won't.  Who knows…

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