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Monday, August 15, 2005
Church

Earlier this summer while back in my home town I visited the church I grew up in. I sat there in the service, somewhat disengaged and somewhat critical of things (which says something about my own maturity). I was looking around the room at the tons of symbols seeming to radiate a story that the church didn't manage to say much about as I grew up there. The pastor had a stole in his hand as he preached a message on the stole as a yoke of freedom. I wrote two poems as I pondered:

CHURCH
Forms without Power
yet laden with Explosives
Creedal Canons
Supercharged Symbols
radiating stories
untold
Spent nuclear fuel rods
heaped up in
half empty silos
waiting for
someone. . . . . . . anyone
to Remember
the launch codes

YOKES
When the symbols of slavery
become beacons of freedom
the yoke will be on
fire again
Words will no longer beget
mere words
but deeds of power,
conflagrations of
Love.

As the sermon ended the preacher did something that hasn't happened 10 times in 20 years in the church-- he gave an invitation to come forward for prayer and ministry, to be yoked to Christ under the symbol of his stole. Then he invited me to come and join him to pray for people. I went forward expecting to stand and talk with him until the song was over. To my surprise and shame, so many people came forward they had to line up and wait. I was dumbfounded and repentant at the same time. There were some really tremendous moments of ministry. Anyhow-- I refound the poem tonight in a desk pile and it reminded me to share the story.
posted by John David Walt | at 8/15/2005 09:42:00 PM

 

2 Comments:

Anonymous matt maher said...

you know, it always seems like when we are the most dissolusioned or skeptical of "church", God does the most, doesn't it? Almost to remind us that despite all of our attempts to mess it up, He'll make something beautiful out of it. :)

2:00 AM EDT  
Blogger JohnDeere said...

are you still in Germany Matt? how's the German Shepherd?

9:18 PM EDT  

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