Jan 21 2009

Word of the Day: Hope

Earth Prayer by Rob Schouten

Earth Prayer by Rob Schouten

As I watched the inauguration today, I was hopeful for my country. I am hopeful for the spirit that is inspiring many, many people to believe that we (each one of us) can make a difference in our communities, in our country, in the world.

I am hopeful that we can be encouraged by our new leader, but not expect him to take on all the responsibility. I am hopeful that we can take our eyes off of him and what he can or can’t do for us, and turn them to the issues at hand.

No matter what happens in the next four years, my dearest hope is that we continue to believe that change can happen.

Let’s get to work!

Jan 19 2009

Word of the Day: Justice

Women Singing Earth by Mary Southard, CSJ

Women Singing Earth by Mary Southard, CSJ

Martin Luther King, Jr, quoted Amos, saying: “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

What is justice?

In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus describes his vocation to justice when speaking in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Often justice and “prophet” are put together–the people who take a stand against injustice and call for change. A connection that is not often made is that of “prophet” and “artist,” but Hans Urs von Balthasar, a Roman Catholic theologian, suggested that the vocation of prophet and artist are intimately united. The prophet-artist, while prophetically calling for justice, can creatively paint a picture, weave words or use other mediums of expression that inspires people with a new vision. The prophet-artist uses their own hope–their very life–as the medium for crafting an image of a transformed future. When I listen to MLK’s “I have a dream” speech, I am caught up in his hope–his words and his life richly enfleshed his prophetic call for justice and hope for change.

What is your vision of justice? What is one vision that engages your heart and the heart of your community? Maybe it is racial reconciliation, an end to hunger and economic justice, humane health care, a future without human trafficking, earth stewardship, or educational opportunities for all children. Describe it as richly as possible–paint it, cook, write, or sing it. How do you already embody this vision of hope in your daily life? What are other ways? Share your vision with your family, with your children, with your friends and ask them for ideas.

Jan 17 2009

Christina’s World

Christina's Worldpennsylvanialandscape3 wyeth

Christina’s World and Pennsylvania Landscape

Andrew Newell Wyeth

“Really, I think one’s art goes only as far and as deep as your love goes.”
Life Magazine interview, 1965

Jan 17 2009

Word of the Day: Creativity

Time Spiral by Susan Forshey

Time Spiral

One of the most delightful aspects of my job with theology students is hosting Sabbath Space. Each Wednesday and Thursday, students come to a stain-glass and candle-lit chapel to feast on crayons, colored pencils, coloring sheets, and anything else I can find to tempt them to take a risk and play for a moment.
Most students are right-brain starved on their academic diet of dense theological and philosophical texts, weary from wrestling with justice issues, or just tired from the frenetic pace of life. They come in, take a deep breath as they sit down at the craft table, and for 5 minutes or 3 hours, they find the eye of the storm. The art product is secondary–it is the moments of attention that they pay to the project at hand, choosing medium, colors, getting their hands and hearts involved, that gives rest.
Rest is also found through the moments of attention that others at the table extend to each other, “How are you? How are classes? What a beautiful color choice!” Some students start talking as they walk in, grabbing a blank piece of paper and random pencil, shapes and designs soon punctuating their narrative.
Something beautiful happens in Sabbath Space, but most would not call themselves artists. Rather than focusing on production, I see students gingerly walk or wildly run into their creative hearts, finding healing to take back into the rest of life.
Fittingly, the large, beautifully carved table used for creating and conversing in Sabbath Space is also used for a weekly community feast of the Lord’s Supper. Different gatherings, but both means of grace, renewal, and communion.
  • What is one area you experience flow of creativity? How do you get caught up in God’s creative nature? (Think outside the box–it may not be playing an instrument or drawing, but it could be creatively organizing a project, managing a staff, listening to someone in a way than communicates presence, cooking a feast, computer programming, etc.)
  • What does it feel like to be creative?
  • When you are creating in this way, how are other people blessed by your effort?
  • What is one small way you can cultivate creativity this week?

Jan 16 2009

Word of the Day: Abundance


What does abundance mean for you?
What does it look like and feel like?
What is a way to celebrate abundance where there is scarcity?
How could abundance be shared this week with your neighbor?

Jan 12 2009

Morning View

Feline Lectio
Feline Lectio

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