Saturday, January 20, 2007

Exiles in Jerusalem, Samaria and to the Ends of the Earth

"Which are the Christian community's most dangerous memories? Surely they are the stories of the Incarnate One. The stories of the Gospels, far from being soothing bedtime stories for baptized children, are the most dangerous element of the Christian experience. They are radincal, daring, unsettling, disturbing, even frightening. Our memoriesof God's human manifestation will continue to perturb us, inviting us to an alternative set of values that transcends our normal allegience to our post-Christendom society. The Gospels are replete with stories that shake us out of our preference for the levelheaded, reasonable memories that the church often presents to us. Jesus is not level headed, nor is he reasonable. Just when we imagine we have him figured out and boxed in, he wriggles free, confounding our formulas and simplistic explanations. Let's face it: the Gospels aren't bedtime stories at all. Far from sending us drifting off into carefree sleep, they trouble us, forcing us to reassess the deals we have done with the spirit of this age." (Pgs11-12)

"I can't help but wonder which came first: the impulse to sanitize and tame Jesus by encasing him in abstract theology, thereby removing our motivation for discipleship, or our natural repulsion toward disciplship that forced us to domesticate Jesus to let us off the hook. Either way, when Jesus is just true light from true light, etheral and otherwordly, we are only ever called to adore him. But when he is true human, one who loved and healed, who served and taught, who suffered and died and rose again, he becomes one we can follow" (p. 32)

For Christmas Lori got me a book called Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture by Michael Frost. I am about halfway through the book and it is one of those books where I want to quote the entire thing. I pulled out these two quotes because they caught my attention right at the beginning of the book. Frost talks about how we often tend to make Christ so other worldly that we forget his humanity. In doing this we really miss who God is and who Jesus is and end up in idol worship. Worshiping and idea of Jesus that is far from who he really is.

In this book he also spends a significant amount of time talking about what it means to be "missional". He also has a section on community that was especially interesting to me. The word "community" gets thrown around all of the time. It seems to be something that many people are looking for, but is somewhat elusive to really find. For those of you who have been talking to me about living in a community (you know who you are), you gotta read this.