Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Invisible and the Unspoken

How do you explain to someone that  you live your life based on an invisible hero? On a historical moment or series of moments that have been the most disputed events of all time? On a life and world view that has perpetrated more good and evil than probably any other outlook?  On a 'faith' adventure that you have yet to fully see come to fruition?

Well, the truth is, you don't usually get a chance to explain this, because few of life's moments allow conversations of this depth. Seldom do we get past the Justin Beiber movie, or the topic of weather (really? there's something to talk about in California?) or the newest hot topic of the economy, and the accompanying slew of political entities we blame for it.

But, it broils beneath the surface. Like when one of my students teased, "What are you going to do with your last year since the world is ending in 2012?" Did he really want to know what I was going to do? Or did he want to know if I was a scared as he that it might be true?  Or when my neighborhood gangsters slather some secret code on my parks' bathroom wall. They are begging for notice, for significance, for engagement in a conversation about power. Or when my radio proclaims that they have found a solution for a good night's sleep. Don't we all want that? To lie down and sleep in safety?

The conversation is swirling around us. We need to speak the language, pick up the dialect.

9-11 presented a crash course in spiritual language, a Rosetta Stone of necessity. God knows we speak it best when reduced to the common denominator - survival.

Let's grab the open mic. As Augustine said, "Preach the gospel, and when necessary, use words."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Holy Spirit

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if everyone were totally surrendered to the Holy Spirit? The thought is almost as scary and wierd as total apocalypse, minus the violence, of course.

I mean, what would God ask of us, and what would He be free to do among us if we said yes and really meant it?

My pastor's talk from Acts last night prompted me,with my stoic, proper Protestant background to say, "Yes, Lord" to whatever. I had to add in that I wasn't necessarily trusting in the Pentecostal version of things, but I certainly do trust God. If there's something He wants for me, I don't ever want to say no. I think He knew that still meant yes.

And in addition to the gifts of the Spirit, such as healing, tongues, prophecies, etc. I couldn't help thinking of the fruit of the Spirit, ie love, joy, peace...

We hold back from getting love, joy and peace? Are we crazy?

Well, no, just scared.

After all, Apocalypse is easier to visualize, don't you think?