Saturday, April 28, 2018

Blue Is Just a Color

Blue Is Just a Color - by David Cornelison

They don't deserve this aching numbness, limping through this world
With heartache all around them that kills their very soul,
And hands that should bring healing sometimes bring them pain,
And words that should bring comfort just beat them down again.

Blue is just a color if our hands stay by our sides,
If our words don't lead to actions, if we just leave them to die,
If the teachings of our master, of the one whom we call king,
Just lie in dust when uttered and don't really mean a thing.

And a child looks up to heaven and cries out to you, Lord,
But instead of love the bombs fall down and announce the start of war,
And we here in our castles never see the ways that we,
From actions tied to greed and hate, fill the land with misery.

Blue is just a color if our deeds don't match our words,
If the things of life that call to us can make us take the sword,
If the teaching of our master, from his words that spoke of peace,
Are somehow twisted into words that praise atrocities.

And looking at the TV to see the sights that call us all
To watch each other and laugh at those who fall.
And holding up for mocking all the ones who don't fit in,
We like to know that we could throw the rock that doesn't sin.

And blue is just a color if we only stand and stare,
If we say that we can't get involved, it's too hard, we just don't dare,
If the teachings of our master, of the one who comforts all
Are parsed through until all of us have some we get to gall.

How can those who know such anguish find a way to get to you,
Praying up to heaven when they don't know what to do?
But you still have a message of hope amidst the gloom
And tell them all these words of love that come to them from you.

"Child, I know your sadness; I felt it once before -
When those I loved betrayed me and sold me for their score.
The spat on me, they knocked me down, they nailed me to a tree,
And then I paid a heavy price and called it Calvary."

Love should be the color we mean when we say "blue;"
The words we choose and use so well that help us be like you,
And the teachings of our master, of the one whom we call Lord,
Can shape our lives and help us all be his hands while in the world.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Easter Momentum

Momentum. Mass times velocity. A measure of how much motion something has. The property that makes it more difficult to stop a moving object.

Basketball commentators talk about how momentum can have such an enormous impact on a game. When one team has momentum every shot they put up seems to go in, and anything the other team tries to do to stop them seems ineffective.

Churches have momentum, as well. A church in motion is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and Easter is certainly a season that can provide that momentum. When the energy of the Spirit is flowing freely within, among, and through the people of the church, it’s hard to stop it!
Easter Sunday launches us into a season that lasts fifty days, taking us right up to Pentecost Sunday. Our resurrection celebration is not a culmination, it is a transition. It moves us from one season (Lent) into another (Easter). And with that launch into the Easter Season, we feel the momentum of new life.

On Easter Sunday, I challenged everyone to think about how we “greet every moment.” In the resurrection, we intentionally shift our perspective so that every moment is greeted with joy, hopefulness, and grace. The way that we “greet” every day, every task, and every conversation has an undeniable impact on the outcome of each.

That's not to be "Pollyannish" about life. There's no denying that there are difficult days, there is pain and anger, there is grief and sorrow, there is fear and anxiety. I don't mean that we can just eliminate all of that with a more positive outlook on life. That's naive.

I'm simply pointing out that one of the qualities of momentum is the kind of "self-fulfilling" aspect of it. Back to the basketball metaphor - when one player is "feeling it," her or his confidence is contagious; the entire team starts to feel it as well, and shots start falling for everyone. Why does that happen? The players certainly don't get magically more skilled. Rather, they start "greeting" their own opportunities to score with the same level of confidence as their teammate has. And the entire team starts feeling the momentum.

I think churches can do the same thing. One person (or one group of people) can be "feeling it" in a church, and that energy and passion spreads quickly to others, until soon the entire congregation is renewed. It can all start by changing how we are "greeting" every moment. And guess what? YOU could be that person!

In so doing, you would be feeding the momentum of Easter: the “mass” of our gifts and graces times the “velocity” of the Holy Spirit all around us. Easter is a launching pad for churches, and it starts with the greeting.

So let’s go, church! Keep up the momentum! Christ is alive, and so are we!