Lent: We walk into the gathering danger & doubt surrounding Jesus as he made choices that led to the Cross.
This is a time of preparation & reflection.
Where have you been this year & where might you be going?
What are the things that have kept your journey on pause?
What are the choices you have made that you would like to revisit? A Lenten Collection
Longing for predictability
the unexpected happens
Planning for security
risk taking arises
safety & chaos’ pause
The church can hurt, it can scar us, and it can wound our soul. The very place in which Christians gather to worship, recharge, and embolden sometimes leaves us husks longing to heal …
This last week I had the distinct pleasure to sit with a Brother in the faith to discuss such awesome church words as ecclesiology, missiology, ontology and love in the life, death and new life of Jesus the Christ. Pretty cool, imho!
We also wrestled and explored how these words – what church means, what mission means, what is the meaning of being – sometimes are not actually experienced in the institutional church. We lamented how that for which we long when we come together as faith communities is sometimes the very opposite of that which we experience. We named – with difficulty – that sometimes these places that should pulse with love in diversity, echo with judgment of exclusion.
And as is the serendipity of life, the Spirit was afoot. In this same coffee shop, while I sat with my friend, two other people were discussing their own faith community and the hurt that they had experienced!
We live in a funny world, where often we cocoon ourselves in a story of individuality that isolates us and yet we discuss our intimate vulnerabilities in a coffee shop. We share our lives and our foibles on a cell phone while standing on a bus. We reveal the grief of death and celebration of birth aloud, even while texting in a mall!
I am not sure whether my coffee companion noted this, but I was suddenly struck by … wonder. I know that for some this might seem inappropriate – sharing so openly, but I was humbled. We long for connexion and community. We long to share our stories, for them to be heard – we want to witness and be witnessed. In this interdependent global digitised world, you may hear we are further apart than ever, but in that coffee shop, during that time of deconstructing and reconstructing what church might be, we were all sharing – and what a gift of wonder that was …
At the Heart
Wonder you ask? How does this connect with that church word ecclesiology? What is the meaning of church if sometimes people are hurt? And – for me – part of the answer goes back to the wonder that is at the core of our Christian story.
As we walk through Lent. As we prepare for the death to come. Where we know that there will be indescribable suffer to endure, that hurt that will be caused, it is with wonder I am filled. For me, the Divine was fully present and completely experienced this mortal coil. One sacred life mirrors that all are precious. When we awaken to this revelation that each child possesses is such a blessing …
• How can I not but wonder?
• How can I not but ask that
– the next time we, you, I, they gather in a faith community –
do you see the stranger,
a long acquaintance,
a family member or dear friend
Because here’s the kicker folks … that person who you may have (un)knowingly hurt, is a spark Divine, just as you are. That person who just judged you, has likely not noted that helping you shine as the Beloved you are, will only cast more light upon him or her.
We live in a shadowy world. As we endeavour with awareness and intention to keep one another aflame, alit wonder illumines the path from here to there. The journey to the Kingdom begins the moment we wonder at and nurture the blessing of our connexion and interdependence …