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Monday after Lent IV–March 23, 2009

  • Posted on Mar 23, 2009

Our Mission in the World

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord. Isaiah 65:24-25.

Yesterday evening gave me much food for thought. At our Inquirer’s Class, we had a spirited discussion about our role in the world. We’ve been reading Brian McLaren’s book on reclaiming the ancient Christian practices. McLaren argues that three practices are essential to Christian life: the contemplative practice( our individual relationship with God through prayer and silence), the communal practice (our worship life in a gathered community), and our missional practice( our ministry in the world). All three practices are essential to a full life in Christ and inform one another–kind of like the Trinity! (but that’s a topic for another day) On the topic of mission, we each shared where we find that we share the love of Christ with another in the world. Responses ranged from working with women in recovery to doing odd jobs for friends and relatives. All were clear signs of mission.
After class, I attended the service for Diocesan Peace in the Middle East which Memorial hosted this month. As part of the reflection, Wendy Shuford read a story about the hardships and injustices at the checkpoints in the Gaza strip. She told a moving story of a Palestinian man who had his leg amputated outside of the Palestinian area. He was coming back to bury his amputated leg in the burial area of Palestine. When he died, he wanted to have his leg buried with his body. He was held up for ten hours at the checkpoint while soldiers determined if the leg held explosives, if the proper papers existed, if the leg really was his leg. During what must have been a horrific experience, someone waited with this man. It was a Jewish grandmother. She waited with him to make sure that he got through the checkpoint to his home with his leg. At the checkpoints in Gaza, there is a ministry of presence in these Jewish grandmothers. Every day, they show up and document ill-treatment and abuse and just plain incompetence at these checkpoint. They are working for peace–one day, one individual at a time.
I am inspired by their story. I wonder if I could state my daily mission in the world so clearly. That will be one of my spiritual inquiries for the week. How do I work for peace and justice each day?