Saturday, August 06, 2005

the ironic context of hope

The other day, this text jumped out at me:

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce; take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." -Jeremiah 29:4-7

Three things pop into my mind- missionality, indiginization and cultural mandate. Yahweh's word to exiles was not to forfeit hope, rather, it was a push towards a "living-into" of the context. Often, we as the church, are too busy "saving souls" and doing our own thing, that we neglect a developed ownership of the context in which we have been placed. Our sphere of involvement in the community is limited to how we might benefit. What if the church were to "seek the welfare of the city" where God has purposefully placed us? What if we were to idiginize- to own and live into the culture? What if we were to be cultural trend-setters instead of always trying to mouse-out the devil in culture? What if we were to cancel a Sunday service and spend that time working on the beautification of the neiborhood? What if we were to intentionally move away from the "us/them" and towards a "we"? Somehow that seems closer to the message of Christ.

2 comments:

pedro said...

great thoughts phnil. near to my heart.

nathan Barrett said...

Phil-ee-pay,

I read this a long time ago and was astounded with what it was saying. I completely forgot about it, so I am glad that you found it or that God brought it to your attention. I got a blog now because of you my hermano. It is www.nathanbarrett.blogspot.com. I haven't put anything on it yet, but will in the near future. I love your setup. I kind of picked something a little similar. Yours is so warm.

Anyways, I'm here in London and was looking at this stuff and loved the passage from Jeremiah. It is missional in its statement. It sounds like it is coming directly out of one of my classes or out of the missional books we've been reading. If you find any other material that is connected to this thought that God was trying to communicate, please send it my way. As far as the discipleship school, I found a flyer that I have had for three years and was looking at it. It is about a school in San Francisco called AIM, Advanced Institute of Ministry. It is almost exactly like what you and I were talking about and is very artsy and postmodern and grounded theologically it seems. You should check out thier website. I'm going to contact them after I get done with this. They carry their program for two years and it is $750 a trimester for students. I'm very interested even though I would like it to more global than it seems they are. I love you bro. This stuff is cool to read and see the pictures. I will be back for more! God bless you as you freely receive the love that you in turn have been privileged to give away freely - we cannot give that which we have not first received. I love you dearly and your family- you have a family - wow! Talk two,to,too you later!

Nathan