Heading towards New Year I've been thinking about the church.
Where in all the cultural flux of the times?
where in the midst of spiritual pessimism not unrelated to economic gloom?
where in the massed choir of competing voices that is our digital cyber inhabited environment; where in our confusion, anxiety and driven existence?
where, is there a place to stand, or to sit, and regain a sense of perspectve?
Where is there a centre that will hold against the centrifugal and centripetal forces of a world complex and dangerous, self-destructively greedy and unable to curb the human appetite to possess, have power over, and assert the will to life and power over against the imperative to be on the side of life itself?
Where is the place where the church's life is renewed, it's purpose reconstituted, its raison d'etre reaffirmed and its mission reconfigured.
Gathered in Jesus' name, around the sacred table, sharing blessed bread and wine, hearing again the Gospel promise, giving again our deepest love, owning again our deepest longings, and realising that our loves and longings derive their importance from that which is prior to them - the love of God in Christ made known in the Spirit.
To the question where, the answer of the Christian heart will be - there, at the table.
How that works out in the theology and practice of each Christian community has been told with succint pointedness by Walter Brueggemann. The next few days I'll post Brueggemann's take on the central importanc eof the Gospel table, the place where shalom is proclaimed and from which it is to be lived.