Wednesday, February 21, 2007

ASH WEDNESDAY The Blog Community's Lenten Discipline: 'Sustainability' Wondering

I participated in two Ash Wednesday events this at 12:30, an ecumenical affair with Roman Catholics, Methodists, UCC, Disciples, Lutherans and Episcopalians and the second one this evening. This evening our little community of campus ministry gathered for a meal followed by a short ash wednesday worship around prayers, confession, and the imposition of ashes...pretty short frankly but good.

A few posts back my new online blog friend 'Lutheran Zephyr' asked an important question around the idea of sustainability. I was curious if we could spend time over the next forty days together wondering about that same question as it relates to what God's word has to say through the pericope texts assigned for each week.

Today, Ash Wednesday, we hear texts calling for repentance, a turning inward to look at our own spirit lives asking God to reveal areas for conversion. We also mark each other with the sign of the cross, remembering whose we are and today even more emphatically that 'you are dust and to dust you shall return.'

I'm wondering what the relationship is between the claim that we are mortal and the idea of sustainability. Ironically, we ask questions of sustainability even as we boldly claim that we exist in vessels of temporarlity. What is God calling us to sustain this Lent in light of the fact that we are fading? In the text from Matthew are we not called to sustain life through attention to the poor and disenfrancised? Are we not called to sustain life through prayer and fasting? Is this the infrastructure for followers of Jesus? What about our financial well-being that will sustain us? Where is that?

So, maybe you could join me...actually I invite you to join me in wondering with me what sustainability actually is. Russ makes a good point commenting in the 'teaser' below that maybe sustainability is a stewardship issue. What do you think?


Lutheran Zephyr said...

I've been out of commission for a few days, off at a youth event . . . I'm excited that you'll be looking at the question of sustainability, church, and emergent over these coming weeks.

Blessings to you, and thanks!

dave said...

i think you raise a reasonable and important question. it is one that others are asking as well. i guess at heart i do have some ideas on the matter that i could just spit out and then create some room for bantering. but in some ways i'm more interested in a slow diaglogue in conversation around God's word and the words of Jesus wondering how he might answer the question.

the questions you raise about sustainability are all too often and quickly in my opinion about financial resources and infrastructure. I think they are interesting questions to wonder. the first, financial, seems to be more of an imposed modern question based around our own categories for successful 'church' and so i'm not as inclined to answer that one right away. the second is of much more significance to me and very important. i do hope to lay out some ideas of my own, or that i hear happening, within the emerging conversations and communities. it is an infrastructure that is both ancient and future...not a particularly innovative way of saying it, but perhaps very true.

will be speaking more, stay posted and look forward to the conversation with you.