Growing Pains

Found an excellent blog post on questioning, deconstructing, and reconstructing one’s faith. An excerpt is below, but the entire post can (and should!) be read at Experimental Theology. This is one part in a series of posts, so it may be helpful to read previous entries.

Faith must and will go through the fires. In the words of Paul, when our faith was a child it talked like a child, thought like a child and reasoned like a child. Faith has to grow up and put childish things behind it. But that can be painful. There are attractive things about a childish faith. It’s simpler. It’s consoling. It’s certain. To grow up in faith is to step into complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and anxiety. And there are times when we wish we could turn back the clock of faith, to go back to simpler times.

But you can’t go back. I often tell my students that there is a threshold of doubt, that once you start asking certain sorts of questions there is no going back. When it comes to faith there is a class of questions that, once you get to them, just don’t have any answers. When you reach these questions you’ll live with them for the rest of your life.

Richard Beck, Experimental Theology

 

Currently Reading

 

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I’ve just started to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (2012) and it has already turned my worldview upside down. I thought I knew poverty existed. I knew nothing. I have a feeling I’ll be writing more as I continue to experience this most moving piece of nonfiction, but am including a few links below to tide over your curiosity in the meantime.

  • Official site for the book, including discussion guide and author interview
  • An interview with Katherine Boo from 2014
  • A two-minute video from Random House of Annawadi, the Mumbai slum featured in the book

Tuesday Terminology

Lectionary

A lectionary is a schedule of Bible readings that are used in worship throughout the year.

The Revised Common Lectionary can be found online as a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. Each scriptural entry also includes related art, hymns, and prayer.

Lamentations 3:19-24

I remember my affliction and my wandering,

the bitterness and the gall. 

I well remember them,

and my soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind

and therefore I have hope: 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail. 

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him.”

Calm

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© Kimberly Jasper 2016 All Rights Reserved

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

Taken from Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, a hymn with words taken from the poem The Brewing of Soma by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Pentecost

O Spirit of the living God,

thou light and fire divine,

descend upon thy church once more,

and make it truly thine.

Fill it with love and joy and power,

with righteousness and peace;

till Christ shall dwell in human hearts,

and sin and sorrow cease.

Henry H. Tweedy, 1933

Ascension Sunday

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© Kimberly Jasper 2016 All Rights Reserved

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” 

Acts 1:6-11 NRSV

For All

As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think.

from Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Kindred

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The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (1503, Mariotto Albertinelli) Web Gallery of Art

Over the past week or so, I’ve been struggling with what I can only describe as an intensely suffocating sadness. And as much as I’ve tried to talk to others about it, I know there’s only one other person in my world who knows exactly how I feel.

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