Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unsettled Dust

If I wait for things to settle down before I blog again, it might be a few years, SO this will be blogging with dust still swirling.

I'm going to be checking out this site that Kyle reminded me of. Specifically, I'm going to order and read some of their seemingly short (definitely cheap) publications about missional churches. I'm really excited about the path I'm on and our church is on, and I think some of this stuff will be helpful—we'll see.

On a related note, I've been thinking a lot about 'call' lately. Part of the problem with concepts like 'call' is that they have a tendency to become loftily narrow in scope and archaic in feel and, therefore, inapplicable to everyday life and people. All religious concepts tend this way it seems. It's part of our bent (as American Christians) towards deism. It's part of our tendency to think of God as distant to our actual lives. This is one of the things that I am so grateful to the Vineyard movement for working against. God is present. The reign of God is at hand; it's among you. It's God's presence on earth, not yours in heaven, that is the good news of Jesus.

How alive do I think Jesus is right now? This is a question I use to pull myself out of a mindset that doesn't think of God as present and working. The answer sets the stage for thinking about 'call.' Call is literally just a fully alive and functioning Jesus asking people to join him in millions of ways and places all over the earth, to remake us and others into humanity as God intended. He does this everywhere, constantly, because he is alive and well and has this good agenda for his world. We have the choice to follow or ignore his many calls to better relationships, a better mindset, a better humanity. Call is everywhere and constantly happening because Jesus is everywhere and always working, until everything here is done the way God wants it. 'Everything' meaning business, family, friends, money, art to name a few.

The issue then is how we as individuals, families, professionals and organizations grasp and nurture a way of thinking that helps us regularly listen for and follow the voice of the true Shepherd of this world into the plethora of callings he will have for us in this lifetime for the good of all the world. I'm specifically wondering how my little church can do this for our group and each other, and I'm hopeful about hearing Jesus . . .


Kyle said...

T, glad to have you back. If there is an environment where the people can hear their callings, it is where you are.

I remember having discrepancies with the term 'call' because it connotated 'vocation', which implied that God had called an individual to one direction in life and that is where they would find purpose and God could be glorified.

I think that is a misunderstanding of the missio dei, the mission of God. I would assume that God wishes us to take his reign into all arenas of life, not just one. Where we would be inviting and welcoming all that we meet into the Kingdom life.

A few years ago I read something by augustine that put it into perspective. He remarked "love God and do whatever."

Chris said...

Like the donkey carrying Jesus into Jerusalem with the crowds shouting "Hosanna!". There were countless donkey's that day basically doing the same job, but the difference was that this one was carrying the God of the Universe with him. So much pressure from my "calling" is relieved when I think of that donkey and resolve to keep doing my donkey ol' thing but instead to do it in response to the King. HE makes it all difference. Jesus is the ultimate paradigm shift even when nothing else appears to be very small and donkey-humble. Well, anyway..

Miss you guys!