Thursday, February 21, 2013

Philippians 3:14-4:1


Lent 2 - Year C 


To be mature is to assess situations with a greater number of experiences and evaluative tools. Younger folks are limited in both and tend to be shaped by their circumstance rather than to anticipate choices needed to be made and to make difficult choices regarding the long-run.

Holding fast to what is true to this point does bring a better experiential base than the last time around, but holding fast also locks us in to building today's defense on yesterday’s war. Maginot lines and nuclear weapons simply do not work any more – each was surprised and surpassed by subsequent tactics of speed and non-state attacks.

A clear-eyed analysis is perennially needed. This is the role of a prophet, not of a founder of an institution setting up ritualistic imitations of the past.

It is important to take seriously where folks are oriented. Abram and Jesus are quite grounded in the end game of space and time—Abram with descendants; Jesus with the children (sisters and brothers) of his day. Paul, on the other hand, has us gazing on heaven which will resend Jesus to us rather than on earth and carrying on the Jesus who had already been sent. If earth is to be as heaven, we need to focus on earth and needed changes here.

So if there were one significant issue for you to strengthen the protection of a threatened part of creation, where would you put your time and energy?  It really doesn’t make any difference what your significant issue is as we need folks engaging all of them. Is it around discrimination of a human identity characteristic such as sexual orientation? Is it around common welfare of a labor matter such as a living wage? Is it focused on the environment and monopolized abundance? Is it around a matter for a next generation or a current one? Is it related to spirit and health? Whatever matter you have been gifted with to constructively engage, do it with good prophetic energy. When you are engaged in your arena and others are engaged in theirs, blessings will flow in quite wonderful and unexpected ways. In one way and another the impossibles of being past child-bearing time and even death will find a surprising resolution of birth and rebirth. If there is no significant issue, you have taken your eye off the importance of now and substituted some pie in the sky, by and by.

So be on your way. Do not give heaven or jail a second thought. Do not collect $200. Simply be on your way with your gifts to the part of the common good that is a gift to you. When these gifts join, amazing life burgeons from generation to generation.

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