• Eirenicole

Justice and Righteousness

Disciple's Transformation

Disciple’s Transformation

Disciple’s Transformation 2560 1920 Nicole

We are accountable to each other. God created us to be in community and to be unified – one with God and one with each other. Not identical, not doing ministry in the same way, but at one with who God made us to be and live out of that strength, leading and moving with dignity: knowing our worth, knowing the worth of those who lead and move and live beside us, with us.
Transformation in the spiritual life is experiential and perpetual. It is a verb. An occurrence, and ongoing. It is not a one-and-done this side of glory.
“As long as you do not have experience of this dying and becoming, you are only a troubled guest on this dark earth.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Disciple's Attention

Disciple’s Attention

Disciple’s Attention 2560 1920 Nicole

The Japanese concept of ma – the sound of silence – is the silence that can be found between sounds. It is being present to the moment, attentive to the noises and sounds – and finding a sense of well-being, even joy, within it. It is only enjoyed, however, when there is true listening. Only when we pay attention to what we hear can we also detect the substance that is in the in between. Crucially, if I’m not listening and noticing those spaces, hearing into the nuance, the life contained with them, I “may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; . . . [and fail to] turn again and be forgiven.” Mk4:12. I may not turn to you and be reconciled, or truly understand from where you are coming . . . and alienate you.

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Instruments of Reconciliation

Instruments of Reconciliation

Instruments of Reconciliation 2560 1920 Nicole

I wonder if the idea of changing our perspective on a matter – which previously we considered sinful (surely they’re going to hell for this) we might feel something like the sibling to the prodigal son. The sin of the prodigal son was not that he spent all his money. That he drank too much or ate more than he needed. It wasn’t even that he had sex with multiple women. The sin of the prodigal son was that he thought he didn’t need anyone else – or that anyone else counted on him. The prodigal son thought that all he needed was a bunch of money and to find all the ways he could be entertained, feel “good,” to live a full life. What God calls sin has nothing to do with whatever thing a person does, and everything to do with being in right relationship with one another and God, the dutiful son – doing all the “right” things – became indignant. When the dutiful son forgets that it has nothing to do with the things we do, per se, he becomes just as much the “sinner” as his brother. Not until he recognizes why he stays, what actually does belong to him – belonging itself, for one, and all the rights of an heir – then he too is reconciled with the father.

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Reconciling Action

Reconciling Action

Reconciling Action 2560 1920 Nicole

Reconciliation is not just agreeing to disagree. Reconciliation that argues it out and settles the matter of how to move forward together, that is based on a covenant with one another, that is obtained by communing together – this reconciliation is active. We choose to listen into one another’s perspectives without assumptions.

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Reconciling Communion

Reconciling Communion

Reconciling Communion 2560 1920 Nicole

Communion is a sacred, holy space-time because we recognize God’s presence in it – God is known in this act, in our coming together. The sacrament of communion is an enactment, a remembering what Jesus did so we are reconciled to God. And it happens in community, our communing together, enacting, remembering that we are continuously reconciling with one another in our relationships. – and here is where the living water does not flow through the cracks: our community is the cup with which we offer that water to all who have need of it. ALL who have need.

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Reconciling Covenant

Reconciling Covenant 2560 1920 Nicole

When we get caught up in all the details on which we might disagree – even hold strong convictions about – when those details divide us, we are not living into communion and covenant with each other. We do not grow stronger in expressing God’s love for all creation. Anything other than right relationship with God and with each other goes against our very being.

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Defining Reconciliation

Defining Reconciliation 2560 1920 Nicole

We get hung up on the thing that follows (the so-called command, the for instance that is recommended – the details that are for that particular situation in time-space) than on what the scripture is revealing about God – who God is, what is God’s character, act and being: actively, relate-ably reconciling. And we are also defined by our reconciliation, our witness to the world of God’s reconciling action with us and with one another. – they will know we are Christians by our love…

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Living the Prophetic

Living the Prophetic 2560 1920 Nicole

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a modern-day prophet. He knows this country’s history and the constitution that supports it, and recognizes the beauty and potential the documents hold – and the abuses carried out in service to it. He tells it with culture-centric music styles, casting of diverse leading roles, humor and heartbreaking narrative. The prophet Hosea knows God and Israel’s history, and sees the abuses carried out in the name of religion, and tells the story through his own marriage – not much humor, probably no music, but definitely a lot of heartbreak.

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Accepting Love

Accepting Love 2560 1920 Nicole

When I notice you loving each other; when we experience joy together; when we act as instruments of peace . . . These are the effects of God’s act and being in our world, much like the way physicists observe the act and being of particles in our universe. How we do theology matters. When my data – how I experience God, understand scripture – when my data overlays yours, and then ours together overlays your neighbors, etc., imagine! Imagine the remarkable things we can see with our collective visions of God’s very presence among us and as vast and vaster still as the unfathomable universe we can actually observe.

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Inherent Trust

Inherent Trust 2560 1920 Nicole

Trust that while I no longer hold all the power, I also no longer hold all the responsibility – And no longer the only source of creative vision. So I must be willing to let go of some of my brilliant ideas and consider someone else’s perhaps more brilliant idea – even better, we collaborate, come up with something we would never have come up with on our own.
Others will only have opportunity to participate in leadership when those who occupy that leadership space move aside, give up that space or share it outright. Shared leadership only happens when it is shared.

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