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...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Knowing and Being Known

I've been pondering Isaiah 49 yesterday and today, and somehow, in the process, came across this poem, written by someone from our church for a marvelous little online journal (I'll add the link to the sidebar later). In the context of my studies, it reminded me of how easily the wise and powerful missed their longed for Messiah, because time after time He failed to behave 'messianically' and was thus dismissed. "He's gone mad." "He is filled with demons." "He's spending time with the wrong people." We think we know how people are supposed to be. We think we know who's wearing the white hats. If we think we know, we get to belong to an elitist club. It's called Pharisees. Both Isaiah 49 and this great poetry offer us powerful windows into what is needed for real relationship with my neighbors, my family, my friends, my enemies:

1. It seems to begin with humility; with the knowledge that I don't know the other.
2. A willingness to learn, which implies, of course, a willingness to let the other into my world enough to change me.
3. A willingness to endure, because try as I might to come into a relationship without the baggage of expectations and walls, they will be there. The presence of these realities, coupled with just the reality that we're living in a fallen world, will conspire to create a situation where I'm tempted to self-reighteousness, or disengagement, or both at the same time.

There are more elements needed, but these three are enough to keep me going for quite a long time. I'm planning on showing a clip on Sunday from the film "Millions" that I hope will speak to this. How can anyone not love that movie?


At 22/3/06 12:45, Anonymous Kaitie Nelson said...

Thank you for the list of "what is needed for real relationship." I'm sitting here just thanking the Lord for the prompting in my heart to go to your blog today. Those words provided insight (& comfort!) that I was aching for today. This fallen world -- not to mention my pride! -- can make relationships so tough. Thanks for sharing this wisdom.


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