On my way to a small group prayer meeting tonight, I read the following passage from one of my textbooks for my upcoming class at Anderson U:
"In a fragmented and pluralistic society it is even more important that ever the church in each time and place to embody and communicate the life of Christ exactly where it is . . .Christians are called to live the story, not restate it in the forms of universalized propositions. . . Christianity is not an ideology to be recovered or a philosophical system to be remembered."
Tonight's prayer meeting felt a lot like "living the story."
Our theme was the passage often used for Christian prayer meetings: II Chronicles 7:14. As we finished/God released us, two ideas came to me: "a healed land" and "making space." Few doubt that we need a healed land. I wonder what a healed land is like? I know a lot of people appreciate the appeal President Obama made following the Arizona shootings. The first thing we need to do is really listen to each other. Sometimes Americans can be as bad as those who make everyone else "the Great Satan." Lord, heal our land from the disease of turning everyone who disagrees with us into an enemy.
What about "making space"? I think it has to do with how overwhelmed most of us are. We have no emotional space left for our neighbor we never get to know, the stranger we fail to greet in the hallway, or the child who labors to do good but is never praised by her parent. We accept without protest the pace of life forced upon us and then wonder why our relationships decay. No one will make space except ourselves. Do we really need to buy this, commit to that, or agree to take on another thing?
In the end we become like the god we worship. I don't see the God who called Abraham and sent Jesus getting too busy to listen or care. God wants to heal our land. What are we waiting for?