Thursday, May 3, 2007

Soul Graffiti

by: Mark Scandrette

“Today there is tremendous pressure on spiritual leaders to be spectacular and to “market” faith in ways that are simple, easy and easily consumable. Too often the promise of “the life you’ve always wanted” is actually the life no one is living.”

“We have all found ways to misuse the good gifts of creation to cope with anxiety and stress: anger, working, drinking, consuming, eating, indulging in elicit escapes, and perhaps as many other things as there are people. Sometimes what promised relief become the habits that form us in ways that hurt our bodies, our souls, our relationships, and the Earth itself. In one way or another we are all reaching out to find a new rhythm of life that is healthy, generative, and sustaining. Discovering that transforming rhythm is the essence of the good news.”

“We are more likely to trust messages that are inhabited…”

After more than 15 years in youth ministry, I am keenly aware of my short-comings, weaknesses, and failures. There are things I would change – but I really bear no guilt for my failings. They are I suppose part of the fabric of that God has chosen to weave. I am embarrassed at times – but mostly at peace. There is one thing that I bear guilt and shame over an above all else. It is the places where I have served to communicate, endorse, espouse, and defend the hollow, shallow, glossy, in authentic ‘faith’ that still parades itself in and out of our churches like a filthy whore. Glib answers, trite platitudes (I really didn’t believe or live), and contrived, slick ‘instructions’ have too often been a part of my ministry repertoire even if it only was once (which it wasn’t).
We (I) can get so good at spewing out and mimicking the latest greatest mantras or 4-step/4-week/4-results program, that we (I) forget to acknowledge the twinge of guilt each time one of these things roll of our (my) tongue.
Forgive me!
Would that I might inhabit the ‘essence of the good news’ more

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