. . . posts on faith and life
Skye Jethani is reporting live from Shift over on Out of Ur (this blog rocks, by the way!). He tells about Brian McClaren’s session here. I was really struck by the analogy that Brian used. A few years ago there was an unimaginable storm in Honduras (over 100 inches of rain in a week) that caused catastrophic mudslides. These mudslides literally changed the physical landscape in many areas. He used that imagery to compare to the seismic cultural, philosophical, and religious shifting that we have been experiencing during the last 15-20 years or so.
He tells about a bridge in one location, which now spans over dirt. During the storm the river that the bridge once spanned changed its course. Now the bridge has no significant purpose. He credits the bridge and its impressive engineering for being able to withstand the storm. But no one’s really sure what to do with a bridge that spans dry land.
This is a striking image of the church (the institution that is, not the people or Big C). The institutional structure that has been built has served its purpose well. It’s engineering is impressive. It has held up under the cultural storms that have ravaged it in recent years. The problem is that after the storm, our cultural course has been so altared that the institution has lost the ability to function in a way that serves the purpose for which it was created. I have no need to demolish the old structure. Perhaps it is harmless to leave it standing (then again, deserted structures can become a hazard for wayward children). However, neither do I have a desire to renovate a structure that serves no real purpose.
As for me, I am committed to getting back to the river and figuring out the best way to span the old river with its new course. And I hope that we can discover how to navigate that river in a way that will allow us once again to change course when the next big storm hits. I guess I’m done pouring time, money, and energy into these proverbial materials of concrete, metal, and wood. I’m done with rigid structures that cannot shift with changing times. I want to see us get back on-mission.