This week we’ll post two photos. One is of Ceara watching Irene whip through the trees on the street where we currently live. The other is of Irene blowing across the ocean, and it is taken from the deck of the winter rental where we will move in a couple of days.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
The past few days have held a mix of emotion for me. I have rejoiced at spending time with Courtney, Ceara, and Caleb. I have missed the 28+ people with whom I spent the past three weeks.
I celebrate the reunion. I mourn this feeling of withdrawal from an intense, intentional community experience. And while at the end of three weeks I definitely said certain things with-drawl (thanks to the Southern contingent), I’m glad that my speech has returned to its somewhat normal state.
I long for opportunities in the future when Courtney, Ceara, Caleb, and I could engage in intentional living with others. I am challenged to see how I can do that in our current context.
Not sure where the thoughts are heading now… until next time, peace.
This is a photo of the Young Adult Missionaries with Thomas Kemper, who is the General Secretary of Global Ministires. They were commissioned on Thursday, August 18th, and now they head out to 8 U.S. States and 11 countries.
Great I AM,
You give us a name of seeming ambiguity,
Yet you give us a name of Promise, Hope, and Possibility.
We read and hear about aspects of who you were and what you have done.
Sometimes, in moments of faithfulness we proclaim who You are,
and, unfortunately, in moments of arrogance we expound upon who we think You are or how we think that You should be.
Thank You for times when in moments of doubt and/or faithfulness we can still proclaim that You are.
Other times we feel like You are not,
or that You are – but for other places and other people and not with us here and now.
Forgive us, Help us, Heal us, Be to us,
for Your glory, honor, and praise,
because You were, You are, and You will be for us forever.
*Another “prayer plainly spoken” for the US-2s and Mission Interns based upon reflections around Exodus 3:14 in which God’s response to Moses’ question of, “Who shall I say sent me?” is, “Tell them, ‘I AM that I AM has sent me to you.'” This is the English rendering, yet the Hebrew has a fuller sense of continuation in that it also could be translated, “I was that I was, and I will be what I will be.”
This prayer needs a bit of an introduction both for its style and its content. I experienced this style of prayer with different people and in various communities, yet most formative for me was Stanley Hauerwas praying this way before each ethics class for an entire semester. Some of these prayers are collected in a book titled " Prayers Plainly Spoken."
This prayer results from various thoughts and images coming together: One) our move to Maine where one pays a deposit on cans and bottles; Two) the image of the man who walks through the neighborhood and the sound of him rummaging through garbage cans searching for cans and bottles he can take to the redemption center and earn a little cash; Three) the young adults who have a passion for breaking cycles of injustice, abuse of power, and poverty, yet who also wrestle with their own brokenness; Four) the verse from the Bible found in Micah chapter 6 verse 8 which says, "God has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk humbly with the Lord;" Finally) the style of prayer in which we use words intentionally to name God, reflect upon an event or circumstance, express what we feel, and remember the call to love God and love neighbor.
REDEEMING AND RECYCLING GOD
Redeeming and Recycling God, sometimes we can feel like the empty Coke can cast aside. Used and discarded, we long for someone to search for us, to find us, to redeem us, and to recycle our lives into purpose again.
Other times – by our actions and our inactions – we treat others like Coke cans.
Awaken us to when we cast aside others unaware.
Help us, for even in awareness we might try to "recycle" others, yet discard them nonetheless.
Forgive us, we pray.
Empower us to do justice and live with those cast aside;
to love mercy and speak prophetic words for those casting aside;
to walk humbly and become aware of when we perpetrate and remain aware that You are (and we are not) the redeemer.
Thank you for redeeming us for value with the deposit made on the cross.
Recycle us and transform us to see how You want to reincorporate us into Your story.
Resurrect us and grow our imaginations for ways to reincorporate those cast aside into Your story of love, compassion, truth, and grace.
In the name of the resurrected Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, Amen.
“Aslan is on the move.”
This line from “The Chronicles of Narnia” started coming to mind a couple of weeks ago, and since then it has continued to pop in and out of my thoughts on a daily basis.
“Aslan is on the move,” is what the Narnians said to each other when the snow started melting and they began to see glimmers of hope as pockets of resistance would rise up against the White Witch. (I know that is not a great synopsis, yet it will have to do for now.)
About a month ago I spent a few days in Grove City, PA at a gathering of folks who had a passion for reclaiming the terms Church, Christianity, and Missions from the negative and wounding ways that many people associate with those words.
“Aslan is on the move.”
A few weeks ago I attended a conference with about 95 campus ministers who wanted for their campus ministries to rupture the narratives of cultural and civil religion that also promote the negative impressions of Christianity.
“Aslan is on the move.”
For the past two weeks I have had the tremendous privilege and opportunity to share life together with 26 (including one via Skype) amazing young adults who have decided to give the next two or three years to live with communities in poverty working for justice, mercy, and peace, and in so doing provide a tangible witness and experience to people of God’s love, compassion, presence, and grace.
As I hear their stories over meals, in large and small groups, and in one-on-one moments, I cannot help but get excited for their lives, the communities where they will live across the US and around the world, and for the way they will join in God’s holy work of healing the world.
“Aslan is on the move!”