For the life of the World

During the pandemic we find our selves asking the questions

What is a life worthy of our humanity?

How can we live it?

Miroslav Volf, Ryan McAnnally-Linz, Matt Croasmun, and Drew Collins of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture have sought through conversation to bring answers.

Three of their conversations have opened me to deeper thinking.

But first, this morning we read

Romans 12:1-8 
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect…

How are we transformed? By education? Surely. By confronting our way of being and exploring it’s bias? By the experience of the other?

I think the breath of God groaning in us at the point of encounter be it by education or by just being present, brings transformation. As we are confronted with the consequences of our sin or the suffering of others we are humbled and God groans in us. It’s entering into this place of prayer, this place of crucifixion, this place of the abiding trinity, that we find transformation.

Transformation starts with humility and in humility we meet with the humility of God who is forgiveness.

Psalm 138   
… For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away. 
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. 
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. 

In the linked podcasts that follow, two poems are cited,

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

BY EMILY DICKINSON

Hope is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

FOUR QUARTETS

T.S. Eliot

an extract from no 2 EAST COKER

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Hopefully this will whet your appetite to listen to these three podcasts

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