Sunday, December 05, 2010

ordination sermon: creationary re John the Baptist

A creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary. For more resources go here.

I had the privilege of being asked to preach at the Uniting Church ordination of five folk today. For those interested, here is the sermon. A story, some theology and integration with U2’s Stand up comedy. (Since it is also based on the lectionary text for the day (Matthew 3:1-12), John the Baptist, I’ve added it to the creationary). (more…)

Posted by steve at 05:33 PM

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the emerging church and the wilderness of God (old post but good post)

Back in 2004, I wrote a post titled – the emerging church and the wilderness of God. I was doing some sermon prep today and it seemed oddly appropriate, both for the sermon, for the emerging church in 2010 and for my current state of being. So I’m reposting it, for posterity’s sake ….

Christianity emerges from a wilderness spirituality;
John the Baptist, camel haired and with locust wings in mouth, emerges from the desert;
Jesus in preparation for ministry, walks into the wilderness;
Israel finds God in the desert, where in the wilderness Moses is called and a nation is shaped.
The rough places and tough spaces become the place of encounter with God.

So what is the place of a wilderness spirituality in the emerging church? A book like The Shape of Things to Come takes growth – in the early church, in China – as the benchmark. A history of vitality becomes the shaping spirituality. When the emerging church emerges from the evangelical church in the US, a history of vitality is the shaping spirituality.

So what of a wilderness spirituality? Where is the encountering of God in the rough and tough? How does the emerging church embrace the wilderness, rather than the myths and shadows of vitality.

Is it time for the emerging church to find new partners in its spirituality? Is it time to stop dreaming of early church glory and embrace God in the rough?

I wonder if this is where the experience of the de-churched becomes redemptive gift. Those who have entered the wilderness and have learnt to find God in the raw might have spiritual gifts to offer.

Wilderness God
Hidden in the deep valley
Obscured by rocky outcrop

This Advent
May we be found in Your wilderness.

(for the comments, which added some rich layers go here)

Posted by steve at 10:35 AM