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Essay

Some nights…

By October 27, 2012 No Comments
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This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style

And that’s alright; I found a martyr in my bed tonight
She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am
Oh, who am I? mmm… mmm…

Fun.

 

“Earth remains our Mother, as God remains our Father, and our Mother will only lay in the Father’s arms those who remain true to her. Earth and its distress—that is the Christian’s `Song of Songs.'”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Loyalty has been a hot issue on The 12 as of late.  I’m not a member of the RCA so I can’t say I’m up on the different groups mentioned throughout the various posts.  I am a member of the CRC… and believe me, we have our groups as well.  In this political season it’s fairly easy to get caught up in the rhetoric of a cause – to raise the banner for or against Obamacare or a stronger military. It’s easy to invoke the names of Kennedy or Reagan – or Bush and Clinton for that matter, but they’re still alive.  However, when push comes to shove… what does it amount to?  Come November it will all be over and we’ll go back to our lives.. back to “the earth”… to what really matters.  We do the same in our denominational battles.  This group wants doctrinal purity, this group wants to be inclusive…but at the end of the day we return to the beautiful mess that is our lives.

This morning, after what ended up being a rather rough week, I opened my eyes to see these big peepers starting back at me.  My five year old daughter climbed into bed and laid right next to me… waiting for me to wake up.  So there we lay – laughing and giggling, with her telling me how bad my breath smelled.  (She’s good at keeping me humble.)  Like a lightening bolt I was brought back to earth… back from all of the ideals and arguments I had been having, from the make believe world of causes and agendas.  This is what matters… the flesh and blood right in front of my face.

This morning Bonhoeffer calls us back from the nice neat world of orthodox categories and ideals back to the wonderfully messy world of reality.  This morning we remember that the Christ we follow was an outsider for the outsiders.  The Christ we follow shattered the oppressive orthodoxy of his day in the name of love and grace.  Devotion?  Our devotion belongs “to the earth” – and the glorious messy-ness of the crucified Christ who embraces it.   

 

Jason Lief

Dr. Jason Lief teaches courses in Christian education and youth ministry. A Northwestern College graduate, he served as the chaplain for Pella (Iowa) Christian High School while earning a master’s degree in theology from Wheaton College Graduate School. He also completed a doctorate in practical theology from Luther Seminary. He previously taught theology and youth ministry at Dordt College for 10 years. Dr. Lief is the author of “Poetic Youth Ministry: Loving Young People by Learning to Let Them Go” and "Christianity and Heavy Metal as Impure Sacred Within the Secular West: Transgressing the Sacred.”

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