Thanks again to all those who participated in this week’s synchroblog. The entries were all thoughtful and heart felt. I hope you’ll join us next time!
Here’s a quick recap:
Two friends had been sitting on the street drinking. They got into an argument. One friend stabbed the other in the heart. The wounded man died on the spot.
A few nights later, dozens of street kids lined up holding candles, walked in a single file line, and through their tears occasionally shouted the punk rock cry “oi! oi!” Our team stood there along in silent observance. We had no right to join the procession, but our faith gave us the responsibility to observe it.
One kid, a pot-smoking, philosophizing skateboarder with a warm bed in the suburbs rolled up next to me and said. “This is really f*%ked up man. What do you believe in a world where sh*t like this happens?”
With a lifetime of churchy language restrictions suddenly seeming useless I looked away and agreed “Yeah man. Pretty f#%ked up.”
Together, we shared an “aha” moment at the end of the day as we discussed all that had previously transpired. Community is messy. When people get together, especially in the midst of poverty, things often heat up. Even in the midst of a Kingdom community, tensions flare; so instead of pretending like conflict doesn’t happen and instead of looking the other way (which we so easily do), we all came to embrace our roles as prophetic peace-makers in action. Ours is not a passive Kingdom.
Life on the Vine’s Ty Grigg
Angela stood up to the podium and pulled out a piece of paper. At this point in our liturgy we usually watch an “icon,” that is, a short video or projected artwork that reveals something about the way the world is and the ways God reveals his glory in our world. This Sunday, we would not watch a video or see a piece of art; we would see Angela and listen to her lament.
The Abnormal Anabaptist Robert Anthony Martin
There was the family that came one time to pick up their laundry and we could not find it. This happened on occasion if the tags came off the bag or the laundry was collected outside of our little system and, therefore, not tagged. This was devastating for this family because, as I mentioned above, this was all they had left in the world. I spent an hour sorting through the unclaimed, untagged bags, looking for a bag with a black dress with white polka dots. When I found it, they wept. They wept over found clothing. And I found myself weeping, too.
Austin’s own Sarah Dinka
I think church for me has become a “place” defined more by my experience than the external factors. I think we enjoy the external factors: the coffee, the food, the music, the conversation. But I think church happens when we are able to care for one another–whatever that looks like.
The Always Heartfelt Kevin Bell
Back in the mid 1970s I ran across a group of Christ followers who took living in community to a higher level by choosing to live together in one large house. They themselves were devoted to learning the deeper things of God, to being close disciples of Christ and living in His kingdom. They ate meals together, played together, and worshiped together. The named their home Dileram House which in the Farsi language means peaceful heart.
Church Planter of the Antioch Movement Daniel M. Rose
The day it felt like church? For a while now the best answer to that question is: “Today”. Being the Church is simply living in relationship with and under the authority of Jesus with others who are seeking to do the same.