jpmurad

Stained Glass Symphony

In Eclipse on January 14, 2009 at 9:36 am

Since we last talked, I have been to a 20 somethings gathering through my church.  I felt a strange tension faceted-stained-glass-w-dove3leading up to the meeting.  It reminds me of the conflict in U2’s “With or Without You”; because, I want to be in community with peers.  But, on the other hand, I am stuck on certain ideas of what ‘Christian’ community looks like.  Namely, I have been convicted about judgments I hold.  Most of the time, these judgments remain anonymous.  That is, I never associate names or faces to the sentiments.  The convenience of this tactic is that I remain victim to the ‘church-at-large’ and ‘those kinds of Christians’.  In reality, I stand in judgment against the other congregants at my church, my pastors and, ultimately, myself.  I have become curious about what community could look like…at its best.  How could we do church differently?

How did I come to this conviction (sensitivity to my own judgments)?  I was reading an ancient letter written to churches in a city called Ephesus, which is in modern day Turkey.  I was challenged by the author’s depiction of God’s deep love for His family.  Over and over, God is depicted with a very intimate concern and deep love for the Church.  Then, I considered how far that love was from the state of my heart.  And there you have it…conviction.  There is a deeper, mysterious love at work to which I am simply not privy…at the moment.

As I have sat in this confession, I have built in curiosity about what Church could be.  What is this lovely bride about which I read in the letter?  And in another place, I was told about God’s riches being IN His saints.  I continue to wonder what possibilities will open up as I sit in this inquiry.  As I have shared my confession with others and then opened myself up to wonder, I have been amazed to find that people begin to tell me about areas of tension in their lives.  It is almost as if they have a ‘clearing’ in which to consider tension.  I have very much enjoyed the interaction.

As I move forward and learn more, I am excited to see what will come out of this group.  What kind of transformation will take place in a community where we value humility and honesty with one another?  The main words of clearing that come to mind for me–what I would enjoy experiencing in community–are: Curiousity, Confidence, Creativity and Passion.  I am committed to patiently moving forward, observing these ways of being.

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