Skip to main content

thirsty

This week in my online spiritual formation course, we are talking about the importance of community, and comparing it to the element of water (nurturing, collective, cohesive, running to the lowest places). Here is what I wrote for my assignment.

I often wake up thirsty. There is nothing like the first drink of the day (I am talking orange juice, of course). I love all kinds of drinks: water, chai tea, fizzy diet Dr. pepper, a cold cider, orange juice, wheat beer, green tea, and the occasional cappuccino (all of which have a large element of water in them). Communal life is also something that I thirst for, in the many shapes and forms that it takes.

Two words from Gregg Finley’s talk on things Celtic [1] stood out to me: availability and vulnerability. They apply both to drinking orange juice and to the intentional and interactive elements of being in community.

Availability: do I lie in bed and think about how thirsty I am or do I get up, stumble down the stairs to the kitchen, and open the fridge door? Do I whine when I run out of orange juice or do I put on my shoes and walk to the store? Do I stare longingly at the juice on the store shelf or do I reach out for it, pay the cost, and own it? (get out of my comfort zone, go where people are, reach out, willingly pay the cost, take ownership)

Vulnerability: do I open my mouth wide and let it pour in? Do I hurriedly gulp it down or savour the richness of it? Do I insist on a particular brand/kind of orange juice (Tropicana no pulp) or will I try something new, give others a chance? Will I go back and again and again, every day, for more orange juice, knowing that my body needs it on a continual basis? (be open, enjoy the experience, be inviting and take a risk, be consistent and faithful)

Let the answer be “yes” every morning, Jesus. “Yes” to you and your friends.

This is a picture of a close community of fresh croissants in the bakery in St. Donat.

[1] Gregg Finley, The Celtic Way of Worship, online lecture from http://www.worshiptraining.com/.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

the movement of humility

We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our theology. When we talk about humility, we think mostly think in terms of lowering ourselves, willfully participating in downward mobility. This type of up/down language is certainly present in biblical texts (James 4:10 is one example), but I believe that the kind of humility we see in Jesus requires that we step outside of a strictly up/down paradigm. Instead of viewing humility as getting down low or stepping down a notch on the ladder of society, perhaps it is more helpful to think in terms of proximity and movement.

Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, notes that virtues and vices are not really…

vertical theology

Much of the thinking and writing I have been doing for the past year or so, especially in academic settings, has to do with how hierarchy is embedded in our theology and ways of structuring communities. To me, that's not a g