Archives for posts with tag: Culture

I know this post is going to put me into some very hot water. I’ve been muddling it over in my mind all weekend and now it’s 3:14p on Monday and since it won’t go away….

Maybe you listened to NPR this weekend. Or watched FoxNews. Or hey, even read the CNN ticker line. If you did, you couldn’t escape the number 5.  And if you are super savvy in the social media world, you were captivated by the CIA ‘live tweeting’ the events of 5 years ago.

Why? Well, it’s been 5 years since Osama bin Laden was found and killed (if you missed it go here.) The world’s most hunted and wanted man… gone with the shot of a sniper rifle by the elite special forces.

I think what has bothered me the last few days is the celebration of it all. I know he masterminded acts of evil. I know. I know that countless lives have been taken and altered because of what this man stood for and ordered. I know that, too.

But I’m just itchy about “celebrating” his death, and it seems a bit odd to this Christian pastor chica. I’m sad.

I’m sad we’ve spent gazillions of dollars in war. I’m grieving the numbers of persons who have been maimed physically and mentally because of terror and war. I’m perplexed at how our news cycle wants to sanitize horror into a celebration. It’s all a bit much for me.

Instead I am waiting with the expectant hope for a story about how these last 5 years have meant more women in the world are reading. Or maybe a story of how disparate faith groups come together to pray for peace. Or, hey, I’d even take a short spot or some white space with the simple phrase: LOVE ONE ANOTHER. The stories are out there, true, but you have to know where to look. These stories certainly don’t take the headlines these days.

5 won’t leave me be. 5 is the most important number to our news cycles, and the most frightening to me. Countless studies have been conducted of late at the effects on our mental health by the continual cycles of violence we are exposed to. More and more work is being highlighted on how violence will only increase violence. As a pastor, I’m concerned. No, that’s not true: I’m horrified.

As we continue to see some downward trends of faith-based community gatherings where I believe we reenact joy and hope in the midst of our everyday lives, where will people go? What will they do? Where will they find alternate sources of love and life? One author I rely on Todd Henry encourages us to take in the best of what feeds our creativity, and I would go further to say that we need to surround ourselves with life-giving messages of information to create a new pattern in our world.

I don’t want to be an alarmist… okay, maybe I do. Maybe it’s time that we begin to flood our personal blogs, our Facebook pages, our Twitter feeds, our Instagram handles with joy, hope, mercy and love. I know I am going to try to take the challenge to do so.

“How can Christmas be over? The story of the Gospel is just beginning. We who saw the Star now live in its Light. We who saw and heard now believe.” — Ann Weems, January’s Song

I’m in the middle of packing up the many decorations from Christmastime. I always get a little sad. It’s like I haven’t had enough time to really relish in the glitter, the sparkling, the extra-specialness. I always want to leave it up a little longer. I try… but then get the glances. You know, the ones that come from people visiting your home and the remarks: “You STILL have your decorations up?!” The lasting gazes of your neighbors wondering if you have become lazy, a hoarder, or if you will catch a clue. So I always relent.

Last night, my daughter commented about our yard lights. How pretty and magical they were. She wanted to know if we could keep them up all year. “It lights up our pathway, Mom; I think that’s always a good thing.” She is so right. We’ve just now started living in the glow! We’re just now understanding how to change our lives. We are just now at the beginning… does it HAVE to be so soon that we march towards the next Hallmark Holiday and leave behind the words of the Gospel proclaiming “GLORY! ALLELUIA!”

So the lights are still on.

So i got this card a while back from a dear friend. Maybe you’ve seen them: 

GREETINGS FROM CRAZYVILLE

It sits on my bulletin board smashed in between a thousand other notes, mementoes, objects and to-do’s. But it’s hot pink and lime green, so it isn’t exactly camouflaged in the mess and clutter. 

GREETINGS FROM CRAZYVILLE

It’s the middle of Lent. We are a few days into Spring. Most of us just rushing to fill up the Easter baskets already, or think about summer vacation hot spots. I don’t know about you, but this year, more than most, I’m feeling like I’m in Crazyville. Like there is an alternate universe and I’ve just been transported to it. Where countries are being gobbled up by by other countries “just because” like a game of Risk. Where people disappear instantly into mud and and we are concerned if it’s still another day of the damnable winter we’ve been experiencing. Where the major news outlets keep posing theories of a missing airliner while millions of people die of hunger and thirst each day. 

And I sit here, trying to plan a service of Resurrection. Of renewal. Of life. Of belief. Of more. 

GREETINGS FROM CRAZYVILLE