Chapter Five: Another Way of Doing Life

“Think about how many of the gospel stories happen because of interruptions and surprises. Jesus is ‘on his way’ somewhere and someone pulls on his shirt, invites him to their house, runs out of wine at their wedding. With our obsession with time, routine, predictability, and schedules, we miss out on things if we don’t make space for interruptions. Many great things have been born here over the past twenty years because we allowed for interruptions—from St. Ed’s to five minutes ago when I chose to answer the door. Constantly we have to remind ourselves that interruption may not be distractions; they may be divine appointments.” (p 106). How do you make space for interruptions?

The early Christians spoke about resurrection not as just a one-time event two thousand years ago but as something we are invited to participate in. So every time we bring dead space back to life or make ugly things beautiful, it is the work of Jesus. Resurrection happens every day.” (p 109). How have you participated in bringing things back to life?

“Our job is to amplify the voices that are not being heard. I’ve especially seen this in the current racial justice movement in America, arising from events like Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson. When folks don’t feel heard, they shout louder. And if we still don’t listen, we make the world a very fragile place. Dr. King said, `Riot is the language of the unheard.’ What often happens is that oppressed people try to voice their pain and anger, and people cover their ears. Tears are met with tear gas. But listening is a holy act.” And so is amplifying those who have been muted. When we amplify the voices of the oppressed, we make the world safer and better. So let’s be people who amplify the voices of the unheard.” (p 116).

“Thank God for missional plumbers! It makes you think we need to think of missions nut just as a bunch of people who go to a foreign land but folks who ask how they can use their gifts right here at home. Perhaps we should begin commissioning school teachers, electricians, postal workers, and sanitation folks as missionaries—pray over them, anoint them with oil, and send ‘em out!” (p 726). Does your church commission people for service in our communities?

“Frederick Buechner said, ‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’ I’ve come to see this as the difference between a career that is just about paying the bills, and a vocation that is about seeking first the kingdom of God. A vocation is when we take our passion and connect it to the world’s pain. Then we do what we are gifted at, and it alleviates the suffering of others. Everybody winds. Don’t settle for a job, fins your vocation.” (p 127). Are you in a job that is your vocation?