Saturday, April 22, 2006

Clarity

Well I should clear a few things up. The situation that caused me grief fortunately has nothing to do with the new church. In fact, we've done nothing there since the Eucharist debacle because of Holy Week busyness. They met this week (at Denny's! - which I later learned we're supposed to boycott because they have racist hiring policies? Also Cracker Barrel, because they have homophobic hiring policies? Anyway...) but I couldn't attend because J had our only car. So I'm once again out of the loop. *sigh*

Anyway, what I'm trying to tell you is that this situation was with Fuller people, if you can imagine. I mean, we're all in seminary - surely we've learned to be nice to one another by now! Actually, it's an expected situation - the pressure we are under for classes spilled out into an extra-curricular event that should have been low-key and turned into a big drama. So I got the boot from participating, and a piece of art I co-created with a very talented dancer goes off into oblivion. *sigh*

I've offered it to the chapel people. Maybe they'll bite.

Here is my quote o' the week, from class yesterday:
"You don't reach out to the poor to minister to them, you reach out to the poor to include them."

Yes! Take that, reach-out churches! Seriously, do we actually want the people we minister to sitting next to us in the pew? Or do we just go out and pat them and say "Jesus loves you, be at peace" - but we never invite them to join our community, never bring them into the fold, never insist even that they experience with us the transformative power of our worship?

'Cause let me tell you something, people. We can not do this alone. We cannot be Jesus alone. Sometimes we gotta step off and let Jesus be Jesus, straight up. And that means they've got to come to worship, where they meet God. We can't always take God out, or embody God for people. We have to bring them to the place where they meet God not through us but for real.

That's what worship is supposed to be.

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Oh, I'm so glad this situation wasn't to do with the new church! That was the conclusion I leapt to -- wrongly, as it turns out -- and I was so sad for you that such a vibrant possbility had ended in that way. I'm glad I was wrong. :-)

Marshall said...

Since I wasn't up on the issues of the new church, I did assume it was Fuller people; and you did say enough for me to wonder about an issue of an intellectual property.

It's been almost 26 years, and I have not forgotten the lessons learned the hard way: folks in seminary are still folks, no more finished than I. I remember still that I was angry, even though when I thought about it I wasn't sure why. More accurately, that was a fact I didn't want to see at first. I wanted the seminary community to be better.

I'm still looking for that place where the church community lives up to its call. And when the Kingdom comes....