Monday, May 13, 2013

A letter to my current community

I thank our God and Father for a chance to live with brothers and sisters so willing to lean into the not yet promised us through Jesus. That not yet of what I speak being a future lived plainly in the sight of God and each other, a future with no more darkness. A future in which there is no fear of pain and therefore no fear of intimacy. A future marked, guided and upheld by the love of Jesus. A future whose foundation is the ultimate ending of all grief and sorrow pain and suffering and most importantly the end of all judgment, for I have come to understand of pain that it causes more of it self and that in our being wronged by others the trail continues backward with no end and without a singular culprit on which to place our blame. So now, it is my understanding that God’s justice is to deal with this kind of doomed cycle of pain and transgressing by the death of his son, which is ultimately for us a sign or gateway by which we enter into a new life. We are welcomed to enter into life founded on unwavering love, love in the face of distress, love in the face of betrayal, love in the face of enemies, and love in the face of death and by this kind of love the doom of this world can finally be undone.

All of this should suffice to say that I would like to live as if this life that Jesus has opened to us is possible and I am glad to share it with you all and whoever else may be glad to do so as well.

I commit first and foremost therefore to love, and pledge my love to be like Jesus, to give grace as he did, to be interruptible as he was, and to seek the heart of God as my greatest desire when I wake and when I sleep.

Also I commit to a life of learning which in a sense may very well be a life of failure. I am not sure if Jesus ever failed and if he didn’t than to some extent I must confess I will endeavor to be like Jesus without needing to BE Jesus or otherwise I think I miss the point of a savior.

I know that if for nothing else I am here with all of you to learn to live into the things I have just mentioned.

How long I will be here I am not certain, but perhaps certain that it will be determined by love. My love for you, your love for me, but most of all the love of our Father as he enables me to be the message of love and reconciliation found in Jesus. Perhaps this love will some day lead me away. I think it is likely and I am sure when it does it will be a great passion to share this life we have learned with others as a way of making sense out of a two thousand year old story that at times is misunderstood and often represented with very little relevance to it’s original message.

For out rule, and for this life, this is my hope.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



Because he's tall

they call him Slim.

His mind's been working around some problems.

His problems have been working on him.

He is capable

but like an asteroid slung oblong in its orbit around the sun

so is his path precarious and drifting

Not lost

but neither directed.

The potter is with him

hands pressing in

how will he mold?

He will be taken care of

but for what use will his hands be

if for you, oh Lord, for thee

What will you call him?

we call him Slim

but who do you call him?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Biosphere for Identity

Church should be the location where our gifts are used and honored the most. Church should encourage the value of Who we are (Whose we are) and propel us towards our calling. Concordantly, church should enable us to lay down our own self-centered concerns. If God is looking after our interests and we live among a community that also looks out for our desires than we are free to let go of our rights and focus on building up the other. I can spend time and resources to help others achieve a strong sense of identity knowing that they are partnering with God to do the same for me. It is such a rewarding experience to relinquish the desires of the self in trust that they will be met outside of my preoccupation with them. Thus we see that the essence of the Sermon on the Mount is accomplished in community for the sake of freedom.

Christ’ s call to reconciliation propels us to this very place of surrender for the sake of the other. Jesus did the same for us, and the movement of the Holy Spirit is always moving those who are raised in him to cross the boundaries of autonomous self into the territory of the other. Take this simple observation under consideration: we cannot deliver the message of the good news unto ourselves nor can we understand the depth of it’s meaning until we have brought it to another. It is in the other that we see the face of Jesus. It is after the breaking of bread that he becomes present in our midst.
It is in seeking Jesus [to truly see him, to encounter him] that we leave the self behind, not unattended but in better hands. We leave the self in the hands of God and in the hands of the other. Once we achieve this vulnerable state of selflessness community naturally forms around us the way that water rushes to the lowest point. We see in the absence of self that the glory of God is revealed. Where the self is not occupied with its own being we see true love and overflowing love has two things: one, that it is inexhaustible, and two, that it is irresistible.

Through the process of emptying our selves the Holy Spirit comes to fill us more and more. We distinguish this spirit from all others in two ways, both of which keep us from dissolving the self completely into an amorphous mass of individuals without distinction. First, if the spirit testifies Jesus coming in the flesh than we know there is redemption the adoption of our bodies. Resurrection validates the individual as important to God and shows his concern to redeem the old creation as apart of making the new one. Second, we identify the spirit by more than one name, but one of the most important is “Advocate.” To advocate for the other is to see the value in their individuality. The Advocate enables us to see the beauty that God has specifically revealed in each person. Even the most unpresentable parts will be honored in the body of Christ. In submission to the Advocate it will be impossible for the strong to simply absorb the weak. Even these very distinctions are no longer rational where the fullness of the kingdom is present.