Saturday, March 12, 2011

Born Again This Way

"Contemporary Christians tend to avoid complexity as being hazardous to their faith, and are thus unprepared to cope with complexity when it confronts them."

-Peter J. Gomes, Preacher to Harvard University

The recent passing of Peter Gomes left me empty. He was my never-met-in-person Brother-in-Arms.  During this season of Lent, I especially will miss his freshly-written "living" words, but need to share them with you, readers, as you see fit to find his compassionate, intellectual, freedom-speaking challenge.

"Treasure is knowing that you belong to God; treasure is knowing that therefore you are not alone.  You are not isolated, and you are not alone.  Treasure is in knowing that you are loved and that you love because you are loved, and that knowledge of self and relationship and purpose is what treasure is all about.  So that when you leave "everything," as we all most certainly will leave everything, you can take "it" with you, for it is the only thing you ever truly had, and that is the love of God."

As I write this, thousands of hungry parishioners have entered the Yum! Center in Louisville, bowing before the egg of Lady GaGa. Awaiting redemption and joyously dancing in the aisles to the latest anthem, Born This Way. 

Behind my house on Merino Street, a similarly numbered multitude stand on their broken, whitebread feet and raise hands in praise to the strains of Jesus Freak Rock. Even the most acidically broken among us cannot deny its power to bring joy.

I saw Les Miserables in Louisville today, reminded that a soaring production of a Broadway musical can often be more church than church itself.

Hear this:  Jesus Freaks, LittleGaGa Monsters, LesMiserites:  Rejoice!

"Treasure is in knowing that you are not alone."

Monday, March 7, 2011

To Do: Justice

Not much is known about the prophet Micah. 

To my knowledge, my Church of the Nazarene mother nor Southern Baptist father named me in his honor.  That missing "h" after the "c".  The "e" after the "a".  The "l" before the "h".  

Reborn into the spirit of understanding truth and welcomed questions of adulthood Micah has become my namesake.  I am not St. Michael.  I want to be Micah. I want to live Micah.

"Micah understood his task to be a preacher of truth- to expose injustice and inequity, to offer a word of hope and salvation, and to make known a vision of a new and transformed way of life for his community and his world."  - Harper's Study Bible

It would probably be easier to be Michael.  You know, Archangel and all. Superhero. Movie Deals!

I choose Micah.  He was the first to let me in.  As a freshly abused gay Southern Baptist, I discovered:

"What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."

I love the "with" part by the way.  Hand in hand. 

Blessed Lenten journey travels, readers.

Don't require of yourselves any more than Micah's Lord.  That will be.  Enough.