Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LENT Photo #19 "World"

   Wow!! I have some liquid chalk pens!! For smaller groups or as one 'station' in the space a lenten or Easter Prayers of the People for the World could be a tactile drawing and writing on the globe in the places needing reconciliation and renewal, the object of God's mission in the world... at least that's what I thought when I saw this globe on the interwebthingy!!

What thoughts did this globe touch off as I saw it?
   In most contexts I'm engaging with people in ministry and mission in recent times the dominant way people have come to think about the Church, the Christian faith and it's central message seems to be aligned with the short horizon of their own experience [or the gospel as they have received or experienced it] as if that's where the emphasis of discipleship has always been...
   One simple example would be 'the altar call' originating in the 1800s which is admittedly an attempt to symbolise a response through action... however it's early popularisation was always about a corporate call TO something, not just OUT OF something. But that's not even the main game...

   The globe reminds me that Jesus talked most about 'the Kingdom of God' and the invitation to participate. The invitation came from surprising people and places [the wrong ones according to some]. It begs the question, what do you do when you find the gifts and grace of God where they are not supposed to be?
   The culture of the churches I mostly connect with is very verbal [and don't worry I could talk all day if required and miss all cues to stop] but faith sharing is so often seen as 'telling' and there's not enough being, with an outward focus on being the people of God engaged in the community... The 'telling' is too often answering questions nobody is asking or there are few opportunities where the conversation is with anyone beyond the existing congregation.
   So this symbol too, of the globe, would be the richer for the ability to be able to write names, projects and issues on it that people were directly engaged with [alongside those earnestly prayed for] as a sign of reconciliation and renewal actually being contributed to alongside God's activity.

Other challenges:
- Young people make meaning and shape faith our of their context and culture, not decades ago
- The challenges of modern science can inform faith not just challenge it
- The main thing is still the main thing
- Just getting the facts of the story right will not create discipleship
- All ministry is built on relationships but not manipulation

That'll do for now... a list of ten would be easy!!
WE make the road by walking...


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