Thursday, August 04, 2005

Forgetting to find yourself...

Mother Teresa suggests“by forgetting yourself you will find yourself”

Ringma points out that
"this touches one of the great mysteries of human existence and exposes the lie of Western materialism and self-preoccupation. In the west we have this idea that happiness is gained when we look after ourselves. The more we focus on ourselves, the better off we will be... but the gospel has a very different vision of life based on the self-giving of JC for our salvation, healing and renewal."
As long as I can remember Church conversations always seemed to be about self preening and grooming to create that perfect environment. Get the music right; get the preaching right; get all seeker sensitive; get purpose driven. More recently the emerging church seems equally pre-occupied with itself, get the ambience right, images right; video loops; dialogue. It all leaves me questioning more and more the marketing hype which seems to offer so much more than actual substance.

I wonder what a resulting church would look like that spent more time forgetting itself and all the trappings desired. I wonder what a church would look like that actually found itself? I guess if the church is going to get anywhere near being the transforming influence it has been called to be we need to learn the art of forgetting ourselves!

3 comments:

Tim said...

Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

I recently wrote about the pointlessness of traditions without tradition. I’ve been equally as convicted about a lighted stage with nothing on it. I seem to be attending more and more events where the lights have become the main thing.

Sister said...

But we are surrounded by people who have been hurt by church and disillusioned by the poor expression of the love of Christ in the church. I was listening to someone today telling me that Christians are no good just like everyone else, and the church is full of abuse and hypocrisy. Perhaps part of the problem has been that we have not attended to the basics - the simplest things of God like paying careful and thoughtful attention to how we act toward one another in lovingkind ways. My instinct is that people would be beating the doors down to share in our lives if we were doing that. Judging from the way people are joining groups and joining even high-demand communities like Bruderhof, there is a real demand for genuine community in our individualistic society. In which case we do need, as an expression of mission, to attend to the quality and genuineness of our community life - though I agree that the details of music and performance are largely irrelevant!
Just a thought...

Jennifer said...

...Yea. Interesting how we focus so much on trying to change, like the emerging church, but instead we just put new clothes on the same old disfunctional person. Like a new coat of white-wash on a tomb...