Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Staff Retreat...see you Thursday

We’re on a staff retreat this week, meeting up at a cabin in the Cascades. Last night I slept out on the deck. The sensuousness of close encounter with the earth comes home to me when I’m outside the city, and if I can, I try to spend as much time outside as possible. The moon set early last night, leaving the millions of stars to punctuate the heavens. Dew was hanging heavy in the air, and this morning when I woke up to go for a short run, mist was rising off the pond as the early rays of sun filtered through the trees. I love this time of day, when the earth is fresh – anticipating. And I love that it’s this way no matter which political party is in office, and it will still be this way when our nation drowns in our own debts. Creation is resilient, and there’s room for the glory to break through.

But of course, creation is neither immortal, nor benevolent. Creation groans because we cut down the forests and pollute the streams; we fill the air with too much carbon and the soil with too many chemicals. Species die. The atmosphere heats up. What's more, creation groans all by itself; lava buries cities and hurricanes sweep the landscape clean. We suffer the effects of creation, even as creation suffers the effects of us.

But still… in the midst of it all, the sun rises – the glory breaks through – and the Lord uses the testimony of creation, both in its glory and terror to invite us to the Maker.

Lord God of Creation – open our eyes to your glory. Let us receive and steward the glory that you reveal through your creation, in order that we might, ourselves, more clearly display your glory through our lives. Shake us, mold us, heal us, teach us – so that mercy may shine like the stars, and justice rise like the mist, and healing waters flow through us to bless a thirsty world. In your matchless, creative name. Amen.


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