Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Incarnation as Revolution

It is with much fear and longing that I have been visiting my blog in the last few months. I come here and haunt it, needing to write, but not knowing what to say. And then I end up saying nothing. As someone who tends to bare all when I write (and speak), I have known these last few months that the things I am thinking about are not things that I could write down in a blog without raising some eyebrows. I also don't know what to say--when your feelings get so jumbled up inside that you can't even explain them, then how do you go about sharing them?

Six months ago, I wrote a blog called "Breaking Up and Breaking Out" about my difficulty with a church that struggles to affirm my gifts for ministry as a Child of God, much less in my role as Diaconal Minister. I came to understand that the only way I was going to be able to come to terms with God's call as deacon was to be willing to forsake everything to follow the call--even if it meant forsaking the church. I came right to the edge of that place. I stood at the precipice and looked over the edge. I was ready to jump. I knew I would always be a deacon. I knew that God had called me into God's service and had so many wonderful things in store for me as a part of our great love affair. I just didn't think the church was ready for me and what that call might mean. And I wasn't at all sure that I was ready to fight for it. God was calling me to serve and not fight, right? I didn't need the church in order to be able to serve. Maybe it was just better to leave.

And then, all of a sudden, perhaps because I was finally able to say I would leave, it became OK not to. Maybe I needed to be willing to walk away, forsaking all others--including even the church--for God to really be able to use me. There is Biblical precedent for that: "Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.'" (Matthew 16:24-25).

One of the things that I have come to realize in these last few months is that the call is still the same. It is a call to service. And, the call to service, and actually living into that call as a member of the Body of Christ, is one of the most radical ways in which transformation occurs within us, and outside of us. I don't have to "fight." The Holy Spirit is blowing in this church, and in my life and in the lives of the people around me. The Holy Spirit is reforming the church and reforming me, in all the wonderful and scary ways that happens. All we have to do is be "in the flesh." We have to be real to those people around us. Loving them. Hurting for them and with them. Rejoicing with them. Being the face of Christ to each other. It does make me wonder if being "incarnate" will ever be anything less than revolutionary.

One of my friends recently asked me how we go about changing the injustices in the world. He was particularly referencing racism, but it could have been anything. I told him the only answer I know--which is to lead by example. Revolution happens when instead of fighting, we serve. Revolution happens because through service, we fight for something worthwhile.

And there is more. So, so much more. But, I think I'll hold on to that a while longer, until I can get it sorted out enough to write it down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is in caring for one another that we see the face of God. Service=caring.

George E.