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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
We continue to reel in the wake of tragedy. We live in a dangerous world. That is to say we live in an uncertain world. The problem is not that we are uncertain. The problem is that that the risk, vulnerability, the perhaps, the unknown present in uncertainty... this possibility feels more like probability in the wake of tragedy visited by people upon one another. We are as uncertain as we've always been, but we're uncertain with heightened attention to our fears and anxiety. Last night we sat in silence, in grief, in solidarity... and then we prayed. This prayer does not pretend to make us safe. Prayer does not pretend certainty to ease our fear, answers to resolve our doubt and confusion (even about prayer). Prayer invites us into the depth of uncertainty as the suspended space where we come to encounter the event harbored in the name of God. Let us pray.
God, depth of our lives, ground of love, ultimate and unconditional good, infinite sacred stage on and in which our lives play out, oneness of good and beauty and truth; In the inspiration and ache of all that is going on in and under our most generous and life giving understanding of the name of God… we pray
The world is tonight as it has always been…
A beautiful place, torn by the probability of evil events, and the aftermath of grief and confusion.
A dangerous and unforgiving place, charged with just enough grace that the gifts of mercy and hope slip past the gates of despair that would keep them from us.
In the wake of even more atrocity, we stare into the darkness. We are afraid, some of us. Some are numb. Others overwhelmed by the violence and evil that seem too grand, too systematic, too encompassing for us to process, much less to address with any measured hope of solution, of peace, of a way forward beyond the reaction to violence with even more violence.
And so we come together, not with false bravado, nor naive certainty… We continue to hope things will get better, even as they seem to get worse. And so we come to learn together again, to practice together again, a posture of hope against hope. To pray when we aren't sure what to believe about prayer, to risk prayer even when we secretly suspect that poisoned prayers may be to blame for so much gone wrong in the world.
We stare into the darkness of fear, and hope against hope for the light of resolve and courage to resist the very real fear that would cripple us and rob us of joy.
We stare into the looming dark of violence, and hope against hope for the light of peace to continue to call to us, to insist there is a way forward without more bloodshed
We stare into the shadow of ignorance and long for the light of wisdom - hoping against hope that education, applied knowledge and common understanding can plant the seeds of compassion and human dignity
We stare into the insidious creeping blackness of unfathomable acts of terror, justified by religious promises of supernatural reward and superstitious obligation - and we hope against hope for a day when religions, when the ways of faith, when the formation of spiritual communities and followers, are free from this supernaturalism and superstition which so lend themselves to hate, fear, certainty, and violence in the name of god
We don't pray because we believe God will intervene and fix these events, reveal a grand plan which makes sense or provides reason for this living hell - explaining away our confusion. It's too late. The time for intervening has come and gone. We pray instead that what it is that gets done in the name of God will continue to haunt us with hope, will visit us with resolve to work for peace, will subtly illuminate for us paths toward the work of justice and mercy and compassion. We pray in the name of Christ so that we might be offended again by the un-thinkable call to love our enemies. And in our discomfort and disgust, our reflex refusal to extend this grace to the perpetrators of such malicious hate, may we be reminded that unless we break the cycle of hate and violence, things cannot be made better. It requires a radical refusal to hate those who hate us, to do violence to those who violate us…
It requires that we so form ourselves that love somehow become our instinct, our involuntary response to hate, counter to every instinct...
That as we gaze into the darkness, of those events, those that have come before and will no doubt follow, our eyes come to reflect a non anxious posture of mercy, and we find ourselves able to return the terrible gaze of darkness with the light of faith, hope and love.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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