Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Restless Irritation...

I have a restless irritation with the Church (capital "C" - not any one "c"hurch in particular!) As I read the front page of my newspaper and then my Bible, it doesn't seem to me that those of us in the "C"hurch are doing a stellar job at relating the two. Oh, there's the front page loonies (pick your own) to be sure, protesting this or that, or sending mass emails predicting the end of the world as we know it.

But that is exactly the point. The end of the world as WE know it.

Perhaps my restlessness is due to an impending change of seasons in my life -- from full-time student to student chaplain.  Perhaps it is because I want ALL of the snow in my yard to be gone (and it isn't!)  Perhaps it is because I am tired of having to explain my faith when it is depicted so poorly in the popular press. ("No... that's not what I believe about God either.") And perhaps it is because I think we are SUPPOSED to be restless.

I'm reading Leonard Sweet's So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life AND the Church and the quotes are just spilling onto my notebook pages...

Your thoughts, your intentions can change the world. But your connections can change the world even more (p. 95)

"CAWKI" - "The Church As We Know It" - has too often been selling a philosophy called Christianity or marketing a product called Church rather than lifting up Christ. (p. 106)

The two highest compliments you can pay Christians: 1) they are one of a king human beings 2) when you read their lives, you can hear and see and smell and taste and touch Jesus (p 107)

God does not offer "final answers, the manacles of modernity, but binding relationships" (p. 116)

Relationships come more to us like an abused package from the post office: ripped, torn, its guts spilling out, the contents often broken" (p. 138)

...and the concept that Christians must have "...an atonal identity that disturbs the world at the same time it exposes the world for what it is: shattered and in need of salvation" (p. 176)

But wait, there's more! (cheesy grin)

I have never been at ease with anything that is sold to me as the "latest best thing ever" -- as I tell my friends, "my hinky meter goes off!"

Life is too complicated, and yet simple. God is not boxed, yet at the root, is very clear. As Sweet says,the Gospel is not a franchise to be syndicated, or a pot to be replanted, but a seed to be scattered on human hearts.

Missional, Relational, Incarnational.

And I'm good with that.


Mary Beth said...

I've gotta run out and get this book! Srsly.

Jan said...

Great quotes. Another book???? Just what I "need." Thanks, Deb.