Out of the depths of our apathy we cried to the Lord and asked that He rescue us from this lethargic, passive slumber. It was only by His Spirit stirring in us (the ones you would least expect) that we even became aware of our numbness. We are tired and fed up with our own blindness to the issues that break our Missional God’s heart. We are the ones who are stirred to mourn with God when we read Amos 6:1-7. Not only do we mourn for the less fortunate ones that our society brushes aside to the broken-dream boulevard, but we also mourn because we are part of the problem. Our way – the very fabric of society that we participate in – is flawed and contributes to the marginalization, oppression, and exploitation of the poor. Oh God, how did we not see our complicity in this?
We will no longer allow our society to socialize us into its status-quo Royal Numbness. Everything is not OK. We are realizing how much our culture has imposed its a-musement onto our faith. This has shaped us into passive Christians who ignore suffering while pawning it off as someone else’s problem. We are seeing this for the first time and it is breaking our hearts. We are tired of being passive.
You see, we were once known as a people who sat passively as Christian food was fed to us, and for us, one point at a time. We thought this Christian thing was all about what we could get to help us live better, nicer, surfacy-moral, Western lives. Boy, were we mistaken. You see, it just dawned on us that we were organizing ourselves around the principle of having our spiritual needs met. We wanted to coast through this life locked and loaded with our salvation to ensure we end up on the right side of the celestial tracks. We didn’t want too much change because that would risk our comfortable lives. We have taken a stand and chosen to wake up from this deadly slumber. No more impotent, passive faith for us. We are now the people formerly known as passive.
We have decided to pay attention. When we wake up each day we step into the Kingdom afresh and intentionally choose to see this world through Holy Spirit eyes. A strange thing has happened since: we have begun to feel this world with God’s heart and we now desire to work in this world as God’s hands. Our actions are a direct response to the realization of how much God loves us. We are aware that this has implications for every area of our lives; for it will question what we watch on TV (or even why we watch it), where and why we shop, who we will spend our time with, what we read, how we act outside of church walls, and every other element of our lives. We are tired of casting a blank stare when someone asks us to share how God has worked in our lives this week. Now, every moment for us is an active exploration of God’s presence and will. Yes folks, we are the people formerly known as passive. We are awake and living lives of discernment eager to respond to the invitation from our missional God.
We remember things. We intently make it our priority to Examen our lives regularly. We take Spiritual Formation and Discipleship and Listening and Mission seriously. We are learning daily through our experiences more about ourselves and God and most importantly, what he is up to in our neighbourhood. This is revelationary! Because we have learned to listen to the still small voice. We are seeing things more clearly and we are no longer passive. Not only can we point out with ease what grieves God in our community, we can imagine with vivid imagery how we can work with God to change things systemically. For the first time in our lives, our imaginations are ripe and ready to dream the great Patmos dream for our neighbourhood. Our eyes and minds are focused and ready to ferret out the interplay between heaven and earth overlapping. For we have learned to pay attention. We are the people formerly known as passive.
Inspired by Bill’s Original TPFKATC
and the others followed:
Part Two (Grace)
Part Three (Jamie)
Part Four (John)
Part Five (Greg)
Part Six (Heidi)
Part Seven (Lyn)
And I guess this one by me is Part Eight
[UPDATE: Bill Kinnon pointed out to me that Brother Maynard has made his own two contributions to this popular meme (TPFSilent & TPFLabled). It seems that my entry is somewhere near the twentieth in this TPFKA theme. I will link up to others as I discover more of them.]
[2nd Update: Brother Maynard has supplied us with additional links in the TPFKA series of posts]
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