Wednesday, September 03, 2008

reconciliation, remembrance, repeating

I like good wordplay, which begins to explain why I'm caught on all these "re-" words this week.

First, I was struck by the clear instructions--almost like the kind of ground rules you might make in covenant on the first day of church camp--Jesus gives to those who seek to follow him.  Clearly, he knows that we're going to have trouble with each other.  He gives us a way to work toward reconciliation with each other.  A high road, which opens a way for conflict to be transformed into right relationship.  Reconciliation in the best sense, as those involved come to a place where they can become part of the same team again.

 Then, I pondered how the story of the first Passover, as its woven into the plagues that God (through Moses) would unleash on Pharaoh and the Egyptians, from the very beginning is known as a way that the people of God will remember what God has done.  The last verses of the passage clarify how it will be repeated and shared through the generations to come.

Reconciliation, remembrance and repetition.  All these "re-" words make me think that time is at least as circular as it is linear; what we do in the present connects us back to what has been before.  

Which is, I suppose, one of the things I treasure about worship.  We're not gathering to create something new, but to authentically and meaningfully claim a story of salvation that's way older than any of us.  I love the challenge of imagining new ways to share the story.  (And I admit to pondering how we might use text messaging to share prayer concerns.)  What we don't have to invent, though, is the stuff that matters most.  It's already there.  As are the signs of God's ongoing presence--those reminders are all around us and all through our history.

Hmmm.  Reminders.  As if we're coming back to mindfulness.  Perhaps worship is a trick to help us turn our attention to the hope that's already been deep within each one of us.

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