The dance of living

 

 

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Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don't make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss... —U2

Do you think that being Christian means believing things—ideas, doctrines? Or is it how we relate to others? "The Christian is not a religious person, but a person, pure and simple, just as Jesus was a person," said Bonhoeffer,"I have come to appreciate the ‘worldliness’ of Christianity as never before."

Jesus — personally — challenges us, supports us, teaches us, heals us usually through our hands and mouths and above all through our mutual loving.

As in AA think of a Power greater that ourselves as you understand it — that this One values us. I believe Jesus' concern is how we live now and where we are, not about life after death.

When tragedy strikes, some are triumphant survivors while others are embittered. Explore here some qualities of life I learned from decades of working with people in tragedy and in joy and struggling with heart-breaking questions and problems from abortion to youth.

The heart of these thoughts is that those who speak out of their own tragedy and triumph often relate to others in a profoundly unique and healing way. Work to relate to those around you personally as 'I-thou' rather than a marketplace 'I-it.'

As a pastor, I grew in appreciating people's vital faith and actions. As a social worker, I found people have marvelous capabilities. Explore with me what I find in experience, in thinking, in the Bible, in history. Let us explore the vast potential in each of us, and in us together. So, explore a "dance of living" that is far more profound than believing in a list of things — or being told to be anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-feminism. Be pro-people!

Being pro-people means growing in appreciating our whole selves — our bodies, our minds, our feelings— women just like men. About abortion I am pro the life of the woman with a crisis pregnancy.

The Sermon on the Mount, three chapters of Jesus' teaching, is about what we donot about beliefs! Jesus said, "What goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you" in Thomas 14.5.

.Similarities between what I write and neighborhood churches may be coincidental!

Copyright © 2003, 2011 John F. Yeaman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas is the complete gospel found in 1945 in Egypt that is dated from as early as 50 CE or late as 100. It includes many saying found in Mark, Luke, and Matthew but often in a pithier form plus other strange sayings. It is translated into English and printed in the books The Nag Hammadi Library and The Five Gospels and available on line.