Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Leaving Town

It's Tuesday, and I've been out of Nebraska for 2 full days now. My time in Hastings seems distant and warm (weird right?), compared to the snow and cold of Chicago. I miss the community that we created during our time there. There was a common purpose and a real sense of camaraderie.

Before we left on Sunday, the five of us Chicagoans were invited to share our reflections on our time in Hastings during Pastor Steven's homily. None of us knew what the other was going to say, and yet somehow we managed to build off of one another and create a coherent and collaborative message while still maintaining the diversity of our individual perspectives. It was a beautiful experience. I really felt the spirit moving in worship on Sunday, and so must have the congregation. The worship lasted a full 45 minutes later than usual, and yet I did not hear one peep of complaint! Usually we Lutherans like to have things on a set schedule, so we know what to expect. So this was truly a rare and beautiful experience!

During my time at the pulpit, I mentioned that I considered myself to be a radical. I don't know if it was just my imagination, but I felt the congregation tense up when I said that. We are told that radicals are dangerous and they are to be feared. They are usually portrayed as being so sure of themselves and their cause that any criticism is ignored and any dissenting viewpoint is labeled ignorant and inferior. I am not this kind of radical. I am a radical Christian. I am a radical servant. Or at least I aspire to be.

I haven't read it yet, but it's next up on my list. I am told that Shane Claiborne may be a kindred spirit. Read his The Irresistible Revolution: Living As An Ordinary Radical and take a journey of self-exploration with me.
Jerri and Ruth come to Chicago tomorrow to help us reflect and evaluate our trip. I'll do one more post, dear readers, during their time here. So stay tuned for a few more days! Thanks for reading!