move of the Spirit?
a lot of conversations i’ve been a part of lately have been circling around the ideas of service, justice, moving beyond charity and how we bring the kingdom of God [peace, justice, love, shalom, clothes and a warm meal] to the people that we rub shoulders with and live next to.
it’s been cool to see how the Spirit has been around at each of those conversations. actually, making those conversations come about. some of the topics have been…
- providing for needs for ALL people
- poverty and racism
- serving without doing harm
- understanding the culture we’re serving
- having a parish view of where God has placed us at home and in ministry
- service and missions without “pimpin” [exploiting] the poor
- moving beyond “us and them” • “those people”
- power and white privilege
- always being on the giving side
a few of the books i’ve mentioned in the last few weeks that are moving me towards a plan and a vision for social justice have been…
- “beyond charity”
- “theirs is the kingdom”
- “justice in the burbs”
- “serving with eyes wide open”
now that God has been moving my heart in this direction, how do i help motivate and educate my students towards justice when their whole life and world seems to be one of comfort, convenience and chaos. maybe that statement is a bit harsh, but it seems to be a huge challenge to get students to think in terms of kingdom and Christ rather than their crazy schedules and their own needs. in an “i want • i need • i gotta have it world”, will students sacrifice and put them selves out there for others? ok, maybe i’m being a bit of a pessimist here. sorry!
a chance to change this is coming from somewhere i wouldn’t have expected. a former student i had on a long term service and missions trip 10 years ago is now finishing up at seminary with an emphasis on urban ministry. we talked last week about her helping educate my students on missions and service from a different perspective. unfortunately without realizing it, i was thinking more in terms of “band aids” and miriam was definitely seeing he big picture and wanting to make this and ongoing dialog between her african-american students and our students at harderwyk. i don’t know what the outcome will be yet, but it’s exciting to think that we could really have the opportunity to be a part of the Spirit reshaping the worldview of all of these students.
move Spirit move! and please don’t let me get in the way!