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Monday Matines: A Prayer for Apocalyptic Pastoral Ministry

So I was reading some Eugene Peterson today and I stumbled across a chapter on “The Apocalyptic Pastor” He suggest that one of the things the church needs more than anything else is apocalypse. By this he doesn’t mean more “End-Times” preaching, but more imaginative preaching. Here is how he puts it:

Apocalypse is arson – it secretly sets a fire in the imagination that boils the fat our of an obese culture-religion and renders a clear gospel love, a pure gospel hope, a purged gospel faith.

This dove tails with what James K.A. Smith has been talking about the past few years when he writes on cultural liturgies. This is hard work. How do we create striking and provocative language that carefully reflects the truth of scripture to a culture that is blind to its blunt demands and claims?


God, who walks amidst the prayers of your people that rise up like smoke all around you,

We pray today that you would enliven the imagination and language of your people.

Lord we pray that our worship would see the beautiful and terrible throne room;

That we would see created order singing your praise around us and gather them into your courts.

We pray that we would see our idolatry as wicked and detestable as a whore,

That we would see through the veil and find our culture to be as dangerous as a dragon.

God who makes all things new, we pray that we could see your plan is golden and your future as brilliant.

Father, our minds are dull and our tongues are weak. Help us to have a fire inside of us that sees you for who you are.

Terrible and brilliant, like a meteor shower that crashes through the sky all around us. Amen

 

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Less Futon, More Reform

So there I sat in Good Friday service, Struck. As I heard the charges against Jesus read from Luke I was amazed at the idea of Jesus as a revolutionary.

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.” Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.” So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

He was so vehemently flying in the face of the established Judaisms that they had to kill him. He was a radical. I was resolute. Upon returning home after my Easter vacation, I would be more subversive. More radical. More Christlike.

As soon as I got home, I went to my friend Shawn’s blog and found this: The Pentecost Project.

I was struck. My wife and I had already decided to pay down some debt with the entirety of the money. But I think that we should do something more. What if we decided to give a percent as a community to one unified goal. What if everyone at my church gave 10% of their “Bush Bucks” to a single purpose. We would be easily giving nearly $10,000. What could this do for our community? Not just our church but Myrtle Beach as a whole.

I need to be involved in this.

We Need to be involved in this.