September 14, 2012

repost: Out Loud

Yesterday, an article I wrote was published in the weekly news bulletin of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. It offers a bit of glimpse at my hopes here and the posture I tend to take with ministry. (For those that care, Brooke and I created a series of artwork three years ago that drew it's initial inspiration from the same Rilke poem referenced below. All in all, we co-created around 50 pieces of art in the series.) Here's a blurb from the article:

"You said live out loud, and die you said lightly, and over and over again you said be."
- Rainer Marie Rilke, Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

Over the years, I've become a fan of Rainer Marie Rilke's poetry. This line from his Book of Hours, in particular, has long stuck with me as a bit of mantra for how we are to live as the church in our context today. Even here in the capital, the church no longer is the cultural influence it once was in this country. In response, we have frequently and politely relegated ourselves to the sidelines, not desiring to offend or impose ourselves on others. In such a context, we have seen the size of many churches diminish. The death of ministries can grow burdensome. In response, we strive harder and harder to "do" the right things.

Yet, in his poetry Rilke invites us into a different kind of perception of our place in the world. He invites us to "live out loud," confidently taking our faith into our everyday lives sharing the "news" that remains "good." And rather than grow worrisome over doomsday tales, we are invited to "be" rather than "do." That is to say, that we become present to the communities and neighborhoods around us. We look and listen for what God is already doing within those places. When we discover these things we celebrate them and join in, inviting others to do the same.


Read the rest here and feel free to engage here.

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