gentry13

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2005 at 3:14 am

keep on, keepin’ on

at the genesis we were flush with idealism. finally free from impersonal programs, happy-go-lucky worship and cliché riddled sermons. we were excited to set a different course. our conversations were liberally sprinkled with adjectives like relational and missional, we promised ourselves that we would be as committed to compassion as we were to proclamation and, let’s face it, we thought that thursday night worship and emancipation from program would place fewer demands on both our time and our lives.

i am glad to report that our ideals haven’t changed, but they are no longer mere abstractions. relational ministry no longer means a freedom from depersonalizing programs, rather, it means a panic stricken knock on your door at 10 pm on a school night, a lifelong drunk attempting to make you responsible for her welfare and dutifully shouldering the cynicism of a friend. moreover, missional not only means working for compassion in our neighborhood but also inviting those who need compassion into our living room where they unload their crises and offend our bourgeoisie sensibilities. likewise, Christ’s mission has required us to realize that just because someone can teach, play three cords or write encouraging letters doesn’t mean that they need to use these gifts to meet the needs of the institution. rather, it often requires us to release those we love to do ministry in megachurches (of all places), university science labs and the scores of coffee shops in seattle. learning to incarnate our ideals has been messy, but we have persevered.

i know the proverbial shit has hit the fan, ye sinners and saints, but we have persevered. we are doing the work of the church. we are incarnating Christ’s compassion and are faithfully proclaiming his promised reconciliation. we are learning to love the least, our enemies and, as difficult as it often is, one another. i have confidence that, by God’s grace, we will continue upon this road. we will not be among those who shrink back and so are destroyed, but will be among those who stand firm and so are saved.

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