To show it what it can be…

In my last post I mentioned that I would be leading OMEGA contemporary worship at my church on Sunday. I did that. And in my sermon I used a Joss Whedon quote from an episode of the TV show, Angel.

Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be.  It’s harsh and cruel.
That’s why there’s us. Champions.
It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done or suffered,
or even if we make a difference.
We live as though the world were as it should be,
to show it what it can be.
–Angel, “Deep Down” Season 4, Episode 1

Now I hate to quote my own sermons (feels a little too much like tooting my own horn, or patting myself on the back or something), but I have to admit, I’ve been wandering around for the past few days muttering to myself: “to show it what it can be…”

I am fascinated by the idea that, as Christians, we are called to live differently. To live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be. This is, I believe, why my church’s foodbank doesn’t put any restrictions on its clients. If you show up, we will give you food. We don’t ask how many foodbanks you’ve been to in the month, when you were last here, how much of an income you have or how many mouths you have to feed. We just give away what we’ve got. Because the world SHOULD be a place where only those who are honestly in need, show up for a hand out. We live as though the world is as it should be. We do this because we believe that world CAN be a place where people are honest.

I think this idea has power. That perhaps a whole bunch of people who live as if the world were as it should be, can actually move it towards what it can be. That somehow, by the Holy Spirit at work in us and through us, just by living the way Jesus calls us to live, we can have an impact on the world we live in.

I believe that. I believe that strongly enough that I have given my life to doing all I can to live that way and to inspire others to live that way.

Give it a try this week. May you find ways to live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.

A Saturday night party…

For some, it would seem exceedingly strange that my church had a party tonite. It is Easter Saturday. The long dark, hopeless day that the disciples spent in hiding after Jesus’ crucifixion. Before the Resurrection, before the story began to make sense. For many it may be a time to spend in quiet contemplation.

And I can understand how that might be deeply meaningful for some. In the past few years, my Easter Saturdays have often been spent quietly. Thinking about what I will say on Sunday morning, how to share the good news in a way that is fresh and new. But I have to admit, it was kind of a beautiful thing to gather at the table with friends to smile and laugh and tease. To tell stories and eat good food together.

Because Jesus Christ is risen. And even though the official celebration comes tomorrow, the fact is that this is true every day. There will never be another Saturday like the ones the disciples spent, that first Easter. There will never be another day when we have to wonder whether Jesus was just a man…whether it was all in vain, all his preaching and miracles and talk of the Kingdom.

He is alive. He is alive. He is ALIVE!!

And in my books, that is reason for a party every day of the week.

Inner Circle…

Tonite was the second Weight Watchers Party with some of my colleagues who are also trying to lose weight. We get together once a month and every body brings somethings WW friendly. Then we have a meal and talk about where we are at – in our ministry, with our WW journey, with life in general.

Tonite we had some good old-fashioned (or maybe new-fashioned?) girl-talk. And it was awesome. There are some people you just know you can trust with the honest truth about all things. And these girls are some of those people for me.

I am struck by the idea of how important it is to have an inner circle. Some folks with whom you can just be 100% you. I am blessed to include a number of folks in my inner circle. Some of them interact with each other, some of them have never met and the only thing they have in common is that they know me. Either way, it is good to know there are those who I can turn to when I just need to talk.

Jesus had an inner circle, too. They were less than perfect. They sometimes completely missed the point about where his life was leading. They abandoned him at his most painful hour. And yet he trusted them. And through them, the message spread. Through them the world came to know about the resurrection and the new life available through Christ.

I was reminded today that they were just “12 ordinary men,” but the face of history was changed by them. And in that I find a great sense of hope. Jesus doesn’t need perfect people. He doesn’t need people who’ve got it all together or who get it right all the time. He needs people who care and people who want to share what they’ve found with others.

He can do the rest.