Monday, January 31, 2011

Growing beyond our own lives

Sometimes while sitting in church, I can’t help but grab a pen and start writing. Thoughts flood my mind. I think: “I know I’m not preaching today, but I have a sermon anyway!”

It was like that yesterday. I was particularly struck by the modern paraphrase of Psalm 15 by Stephen Mitchell:

Lord, who can be trusted with power, and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice, who speak the truth from their hearts;
Who have let go of selfish interests and grown beyond their own lives;
Who see the wretched as their family and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial and worthy of the people’s trust
Their compassion lights up the whole earth, and their kindness endures forever.

It occurred to me that my work as a youth minister—and as a Christian formation director for all ages—could be summed up in the task of urging people to “grow beyond their own lives.”

When have you grown beyond your own life?

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