Tagged: radical welcome

Stream of consciousness

snow angelRandom thoughts as they flowed in a cold, almost-empty church on a November morning, unsorted, unfiltered:

  • Maybe I should just share my outpourings with God rather than trying to share with another person/people? Seems like such a waste. Actually, these are the things I have to offer – these are me – these are what makes me me and special and to stop me, to take them away, is wrong. So how to make it something constructive rather than a bind, a burden?
  • A church with closed doors is no church at all – is worse than no church. It misrepresents the Kingdom, and it damages the children of the family of God. Close the building, or open it: don’t guard it closely, hold on to it, revere it. It is a place. To open a space to God and then shut the door is profoundly wrong.
  • I’m suddenly using much more language of morality, of black and whites. Actually, there seem to be black and whites where there were not – there are firm lines, now, where previously everything was always in question and shadow
  • What can I do? How can I make it better? I have no doubt that I have a ministry of some kind, I just don’t know where to find it
  • “This space is sacred” means “this space is/belongs to/comes closer to/improves access to/is a conduit for God”. That means it has to mean “come in, be welcome, share, and live”. That is what church is. It means come find God here. It is inherently invitational. Or else it is false – without the invitation, God is absent/withdrawn/blocked/resisted.
  • My stream-of-consciousness sometimes (often!) feels like to much for me to live alone. Where does “life in all its abundance” fit in? We are always so much less than we are – we know we use only a tiny portion of our brains, for instance. How do we be more? What’s holding us back? Weakness of the flesh? Brokenness of society? Lack of willingness, courage, urgency? Or overwhelm, perhaps?
  • Where am I bound? To what, to whom, am I bound? Am I bound? Do I bind myself out of choice? Are there responsibilities I must accept?
  • Where is love? What does love mean?
  • Do we simply need to claim our inheritance? To call an angel sister or brother – does that mean I am become kindred with them? Is that what imago dei means – that we are all as close to God as we are willing to allow ourselves to be? That resonates: the more we can forget our fear-driven learning, the closer we can become to our pre-Fall state, as it were, the more freedom there is (and God lives in freedom), the less brokenness there is
  • Is it brokenness that binds, after all? Are we free other than in sin? I think Paul did say something along those lines…!

This blog post belongs after another one that I haven’t written yet. My thoughts are not yet sorted enough, so I’m just posting unsorted for now. I am newly resolute, though, even if I’m not as tidily sorted as I was!

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Gleanings

This morning’s service discussed the story of blind Bartimaeus. It’s a story I like, one I always seem to get more from, every time I go back to it. To be honest, the sermon didn’t work particularly well for me: it ranged about too much, tried to tie up too many things into nice little shiny-happy-people packages. But I did enjoy it – it was delivered well, both the preacher and the reader had lovely speaking voices, and many of the individual points made were interesting to me. My primary gleaning, the thing I’m taking home to chew over as the week goes on, is this:

Bartimaeus was in need, and reached out to Jesus. The disciples, we the church, shushed him up because he was an inconvenience to us. This guy was someone who needed the church. And the church was too self-involved to hear his cries. Jesus wasn’t, of course. The preacher actually laid this out rather more effectively than I am now, but the point is this: how many times do we do that? Constantly, I reckon. Now I want to look back and see how many times the disciples did that, too, because I seem to remember it’s more than once!

This is what church is about, right? Bringing the lonely, the broken, the needy to God, to find Christ and in Him “The Way”. To share love. To share faith. To nourish. To teach. To heal. To care. To bring about and enact the Kingdom. This is what Jesus was about, right? So why, even from the very beginning, even in those closest to Jesus, right at the moment of the recreation, do we reject everyone? Why would we rather share with ourselves, each other, the like-minded, than with those who are asking for our help – those we profess we want to serve?

Can any of you say it’s different today in your church?

“There’s none so blind as he that will not see”