Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas in a Nutshell

The Word of God, Jesus Christ, on account of His great love for mankind, became what we are in order to make us what He is Himself.

~Bernard of Clairvaux

I like that whole meeting us on our level idea. But to break open that nutshell a little more:

We are: weak and small and finite.

The Word of God is: Powerful, Everywhere, Infinite

God becoming human is like trying to shove a huge square into a tiny circle.

But then we have Jesus, who while human is still God. The Christian Paradox.

So if God in the person of Jesus becomes: weak, small and finite.
Does that mean we become powerful, everywhere, infinite?

I don't know about picking up these divine elements since we are still just flesh, but I think we need to look more at the humanity of Jesus to see what God wants us to become...

Broken servants.
Loving to all and especially our enemies.
Caring for the weak, the poor, the lost.
Putting ones self last.
So confident in God's love that we don't need any other identity.
Realizing that weakness is actually strength.
Giving thanks to God for everything at every moment.
Seeing the image of God in every person and God's work in the world.
Undoing injustice and heartless theology.
Building community rather than putting up walls.

These can only happen when I let go of my need to control my life and let God work in me. When I can open my eyes outward and look for what God is doing in the world instead of focusing on myself.

Sure, purity and righteousness and holiness are all extremely important, but to think we have to achieve that by our own will is a dangerous or futile notion. We can't strive to be God...but we can strive to be like Jesus, and maybe in our seeking and striving to serve (and resting and surrender and earnest prayer), God will transform those parts of us as well.

Christmas is when we no longer have to strive so much, but rest in wonder at God's love.

We gather to remind each other of this and to contemplate and act on this Great Love we've been shown.

And together, we start to look a lot like Jesus.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hypothesis - PC's are Lazy Bums

So tell me, why do Macs open up files that lack file extensions (like .psd, .doc, .qxd) while PC's don't?

Why can't PC's do the extra work it takes to figure out what program opens up the file?

I think it's because PC's only reach for the lowest possible standard. Kind of like a lazy student who could be a genius if he applied himself, but only puts forth mediocre effort.

It can't be that difficult to figure out, right?

Or maybe I'm the lazy one because I don't feel like adding the extension?


Which leads to my next hypothesis: When technology works harder and gets smarter, humans get dumber and lazier.

Maybe the PC folks are doing us a favor by keeping their computers dumber longer...thereby prolonging the inevitable decline and fall of Man in light of the ever advancing Machine??




Which leads to my final hypothesis: Macs are going to eventually take over the world.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I need me some collaborative art/theatre/movie production!

Lately, I've been thinking more and more about how I miss collaborative creativity...

The idea of being part of something bigger than myself.

The way that every job, no matter how small, is essential to the final outcome.

The notion that I'm always more creative in a group setting, bouncing around concepts and themes off of other people rather than a blank canvas (or computer screen).

The fact that I haven't done much creative stuff lately and some of my skills are getting rusty!

The desire to learn from other people and share the work rather than taking orders or giving them.

I would love to try to get together some kind of artist collective or group project. I know many of you have had the same thoughts and we keep vaguely referencing the idea, but we never follow-through. Maybe it's about time to start! Here are some of the thoughts I have on what this group could look like:

1. We could find a time and space to meet semi-regularly just to do our own individual art/creative projects. This would be a more loosely organized meeting where we can come and go as we can, and not necessarily work on a common project, though it might provide a space where something like that may eventually occur.

2. If someone has a particular project they'd like to collaborate on, like an art piece, a movie, or strange performance art, we can focus on that and start meeting to bounce ideas and work on it.

3. Or if people aren't ready to do a group thing, I could join in on a preexisting with a community theatre performance/set-building/ on a movie someone's working an ad hoc band for an open mic.

If any of this appeals to you, or if you know of someone who needs help with a movie or theatre thing, please let me know by commenting on this message here!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rights vs Reconciliation

On this MLK Day, I had very little time to think about the accomplishments of the late Martin Luther King Jr. I didn't have the day off, so I wasn't really able to do any service projects or commemorative events.

However I had the chance to think a little bit about reconciliation. It occurs to me that the Civil Rights movement, as important and vital as it was, only hit the tip of the iceburg of the original issue. Call it racism, sexism, or any other "-ism." This problem is misunderstanding. It's fear of the unknown which leads to division. Then filling in the gaps of what is unknown with walls that keep the divisions set in place. We do all manner of hurtful things to each other and keep adding more bricks to the wall.

We can set up governmental programs and create laws to enforce basic human rights, which is a great step forward (don't get me wrong) and much needed. But people will keep wanting to stick up the bricks, no matter how many walls we try to tear down. Reconciliation, is a step beyond. It's where two parties come to a voluntary understanding. Where they humble themselves on both sides. Where both are willing to see their faults (tear down their own walls) and misunderstanding and try to work for each other's good. Reconciliation is a heart change. You can't enforce it from the has to come from within.

Humans will continue to alienate themselves from each other...we've been doing it from the beginning of our existence (take the Garden of Eden, alienation from God - from people - AND from creation). I do believe that there is hope. With God's strength, we can learn to be humble and accept each other. It most likely won't be a great social movement like the one in the 60's - it is and will always be a small thing, inspired by small acts on a relationship to relationship basis.

Realize, this is not limited to concepts such as racism. We ALL alienate ourselves from each other, often our closest friends. We neglect to fulfill promises. We say a hurtful word. And one of the original sins - pride keeps us from mending our relationships.

I pray that God will break us of this pride so we can see into other people's we can truly reconcile: not begrudgingly give in to a set of principles, but to truly value each and every person. I think that's the dream that Dr. King was talking about.