Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Church of the Low and Despised

Moses dies, by all human accounts, a failure, and knowing that he is a failure, knowing the everything that he has worked for in leading, training, and praying for this community will unravel as soon as the people enter Canaan. It is a familiar story for readers of Scripture, even though frequently suppressed. What does this mean? It means that we have to resvise our ideas of holy community to conform to what is revealed in Scripture. It means that we cannot impose or paradisiacal visions of hanging out with lovely, upbeat, and beautiful people when we enter a Christian congregation. It means tht God's way of working with us in community has virtually nothing to do with the world's idea of getting things done, of what "works" and what doesn't. It means that God hasn't changed his modus operandi of choosoing the "low and despised in the world" (1 Cor. 1:28) to form this community. It means that we who want to get in on what God does in the way God does it in all matters of community, will have to give up prentensions of shaping an organization that the world will think is wonderful as we parade our accomplishments to the tune of "worship" or "evangelism".

Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.

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