Wednesday, March 05, 2014

ash wednesday: welcoming chaos

cross After ashes and sacrament early Ash Wednesday afternoon, as I was leaving the church building senior pastor asked me if I planned to attend the Sunday afternoon justice organization meeting. I replied my life currently is so chaotic I'd forgotten all about it.

For lent 2014 several helpful writing or photography prompts have popped up on the internet, as has a list of 40 ideas for keeping a holy lent—although one probably would not blog or brag on those. I may try to graphically or textually illustrate some of the words or ideas, but then again, I'm considering risking and telling more of my own story, a little more openly.

The creation account of Genesis 1 begins in a chaotic void; the untamed desert of the exodus was a place and a condition that created trust and created a new people of God: as Walter Brueggemann telling the story buttonpoints out, Yahweh and wilderness belong to each other! Jesus began his public ministry in the desert. Every year during lent the Church follows Jesus to the cross. We know barren, formless Saturday as the day nothing happens—yet everything happens.

Those of us with some ecological and environmental awareness know well the extraordinary amount of hidden life that teems under the desert's still surface; we also know the rest of the story includes resurrection from the dead. Yet what better idea than for me (and a bunch of other bright, accomplished peeps) to live for a while without control, with minimal structure, with increasing trust in the presence and promptings of the Holy Spirit, and in the frequently messy, chaotic course of new creation? Do I welcome chaos? I hope so!

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