The church has been fishing for a long time in our North American context using methods learned from our forebearers and business books. We caught lots of fish for lots of decades using the attractional church methods. But like the disciples, we have been fishing all night long and we are experiencing fewer and fewer results. It is time to start casting our nets on the right side of the boat.
One the common complaints regarding the safety measures of quarantining and isolation to prevent the spread of Covid has been feelings of loneliness. Churches are
Easter dancing does not just happen. You cannot go about business as usual, then wake up Easter Sunday ready to dance. For one who spends most of his life in the good Midwestern emotional middle, it requires lots of preparation for me to have the emotional and spiritual vulnerability necessary to channel this level of enthusiasm. Easter dancing is a crescendo, not an exercise in spontaneity.
But when the cross becomes the only lens through which to examine the Christian experience, we miss out on many other rich elements both scripture and tradition have to offer. By over-emphasizing one part of the story, our spiritual and scriptural imaginations become closed off to the power of the full resurrection story.
I utilize the Book of Common Prayer’s daily office to help guide my daily (well…near daily) devotional practice. It provides a structure I find comforting as it guides me through a series of prayers, petitions, and a psalm, Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel reading each day. Baptists are well known for our love of scripture. Using a resource like the BCP gives me multiple touch points on God’s biblical narrative each day. Collectively the well-worn set of prayers and scriptures continue to shape me as I learn more about myself and my relationship to Christ and his church.