Thursday, July 07, 2005

unimpressive but going places


this is us getting together to be reminded about who we are and whose we are. we gather in public which is a new and (i believe) import practice for us. by gathering in a public space (especially outdoors) we are scaled down to human size and we get a better sense of just how small we are. it is the opposite effect of gathering as church in a massive sanctuary with thousands of people where the whole world is shut out and all of God (it might seem) is inside with us. it seems to me that one of the best things we can do as humans is to be conscious of being restricted to a particular place while considering the cosmic scope of God's loving, missional reach. this practice will slowly engender an awareness of the unrelenting and gracious movement of God's embodied love from the particular to the universal...and back again.

this image brought a quote to mind (if you want to read more about the book this quote comes from, look over here) .

"The church is never far from the insignificance of Jesus and his band of unimpressive followers. It is always setting out from the particular in the direction of God's incalculable gift of everything." (p.18, Bible and Mission)

2 comments:

brad said...

geoff--that reminds me of a rabbinic quote i heard once, "a person should carry a piece of paper in each pocket. one saying, 'you are ashes and dust.' and the other saying, 'for you the universe was created.'"

geoff said...

nice one, BF. a typically brilliant rabbi quote. love it. we have so much to learn from hebraic traditions about being comfortable with paradox....and even by saying that i'm betraying an "either/or" perpective. like somehow paradox should ordinarily cause discomfort. perhaps i should say, these traditions have so much to teach us about being comfortable with reality.

by the way, which piece of paper did you read and resonate with today? or did you reach enlightenment and absorb the truth of both claims?