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In ancient times, great fortresses were built on mountain tops. Many of those fortresses remain today in Europe and Asia. Few such places of protection can be found in the US. During this turbulent time of economic and spiritual crisis, most people around the world would wish to find a place of protection, a place of security.
A reading from Psalm 43 in The Message strikes me as a message of hope for all of us today.
Give me your lantern and compass, give me a map.
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,
meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp
(how about a guitar, keyboard or flute)
magnificent God, my God.
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God —
Soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face… He’s my God!
Simply spoken.. He’s my God. I can trust in Him, enter into a breathing space, a space of His presence. There I meet Him and sing my thanks. Basking in the light of His presence, my soul is lifted up, my spirit takes courage to face another day of the realities of life.
In the upcoming, ongoing visual curriculum series To Be Told, Latino pastor Claudio Oliver asks the question, “Do you have a mission or does the mission have you?” A short film, Missio Dei is from Red del Camino Network for Integral Mission in Latin America (www.lareddelcamino.net). To Be Told is an alternative multi-media, alternative teaching series featuring stories that reveal God’s Kingdom on earth. To see the video go to: http://emergingumc.blogspot.com/
God has been using stories to reveal himself since the beginning of time, but today many of these stories are never told. We are called to tell them. And like Jesus, we seek to tell them with creativity, and passion.
The stories that are told in the series To Be Told come from the margins. They are stories about a quiet revolution of hope among the mostly unnoticed citizens of God’s Kingdom. They are stories about people and communities of faith that are actively participating in God’s restorative plans for all of creation. They are stories that reveal new ways of thinking about faith, and new ways of living out that faith today.
To Be Told is an initiative of Del Camino Connection in strategic alliance with The Work of the People. Del Camino Connection (DCC) is a not-for-profit organization that was created to serve and support the Del Camino Network for Integral Mission in Latin America and the Caribbean, a movement of local churches committed to living out God’s plan to make all things new. The Work of the People is a community of artists and storytellers that creates visual media for worship and mission. (www.theworkofthepeople.com)
Tonight, reading Brian Mc Laren’s blog I ran across the following reading… which I share with you.
Everyone is Clergy a Liturgical Reading by Brian Mc Laren.
Everyone is clergy. Everyone is called to serve,
To create, to communicate,
To participate with our good Creator
In the making and remaking of our good world.
Everyone is clergy. Everyone is called to stand,
To struggle, to suffer, to trust and to love,
And so to join in the unmaking of injustice and
In the liberation of earth from every form of sin.
Everyone is clergy. Everyone is called to holiness,
To faithfulness, to health, to growth,
To serenity and activity,
To the practices of life
In the kingdom of God.
All our daily work is holy. Every act of service,
Every deed of neighborly kindness,
Every smile or sigh, every touch or tear
Can be a sacramental act expressing the presence of the living God.
Every drop of sweat that falls in honest labor for the common good
Joins with every movement toward others
In the daily liturgy of human work.
Some are given special gifts to equip and inspire others for this daily work of faith
And labor of love.
All are channels of grace, given, received,
Shared in a symphony of many voices and instruments,
So the earth may be filled with the glory of God.
You are clergy. So am I. Together
We are called to learn God’s music of life
In the unique instruments of our bodies, our persons, our times, our settings.
Then we are sent out to play it with joy and sincerity wherever we go.
Together we are part of a truly apostolic succession:
The people of God sent into the world, generation after generation,
As Jesus was sent by the Father,
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
For the good of the world.
So let us work and rest together,
Let us play and sing together,
Let us by our faithful lives bring glory to the true and living God.
For we are all clergy
And we are all called.