17 February 2010

squatter camp(out): of awareness and action

Awareness is a seductive drug. It is powerful in the right hands but completely worthless in practical terms.

Awareness cannot cure, help, or comfort. Awareness does not win wars or topple evil. It does not do... It simply is...

On the same token, awareness can rouse the warriors to charge up a hill to fight for justice. Awareness can inspire greatness in medicine and art. Awareness can open eyes and hearts and the floodgates of heaven.

So what if I offered you some awareness...? What if I invited you to live like the world's poor for one night...? What if I invited you to a Squatter Camp(out)...?

13 February 2010

faith: of rubber chickens and internal emptiness

I am sure that faith is real.

I just don't always know if our faith is real.

I mean, we have so many culturally established ways of displaying faith that one wonders whether it remains faith at all. I wonder if our faith hasn't shifted from actual faith to cultural faith. Like, "If I am faithful to this culture, it will reward me with ease and comfort and acceptance."

So that's still faith, but not in some higher power or creative Source. That's faith in the collective swings and trends of humanity.

This Sunday night at Amplify, I'll start a series of services/sermons called Rubber Chicken Theology. I hope we'll find out whether we're living as followers of Christ or just looking like followers of Christ. Because, like a $4 rubber chicken, you can look the part and fool a few folks...but inside of us a very different story is being told.

04 February 2010

that moment of transcendence: of memories and something larger

Scan your memory for a minute and consider those times in life where you've really experienced transcendence, where you've truly been part of something larger than yourself.
Maybe you were volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity project and the standing of a completed wall brought a rush of adrenaline that was beyond what should have been there for the simple application of hammers to nails.
Maybe you were in a delivery room and you saw the orchestral movements of nurses and doctors and husbands and mothers. You remember the beyond-words magic of a crying baby and a life unveiled.
I remember my own moments. I remember moments in a sports arena, cheering on modern-day gladiators with thousands of others, getting swept up in the metaphor of an us-versus-them battle that represents such a larger reality.
I remember being in a hotel in Naivasha, Kenya singing of the kindness of a savior in the darkness of an African night, disparate souls tied with a common experience and a common yearning to be led to repentance.
I remember the embrace of men in a hospital hallway before being wheeled into surgery, the weight of their hands pressing their faith into my weary body.
I remember the feeling of my new wife's hands in mine as we explored Seattle on our honeymoon. Alone in a charming, bustling metropolis, we were at once in our own world and yet connected with the larger Love that bound us.
I remember the last time my daughter squeezed my neck, knowing that such deep joy could not come from such an arbitrary embrace apart from a transcendent Source being represented in that moment.
I remember...
What do you remember?