session 2 of the bible studies on mark took the theme of discipleship being costly and counter-cultural.
the entry experience featured a loop of the start of "powaqqatsi" of workers lugging sacks of dirt up a muddy hill, with a second pair of screens showing the "eye" loop from one small barking dog's "in motion" dvd. the music was "breath" and "float" from david bridie's "act of free choice".
we had set a black cloth with two kinds of fairy lights and candles at the front (you can see a "light" thing coming, can't you....)
the start sequence was the miniature earth animation.
Spirit of God who soars with me,
earth-bound and awkward,
I stop on the edge and learn that it is not easy taking flight.
Strengthen the wings of my heart when I want to draw back and stay.
Strengthen the wings of my feet when I take the first faltering leap.
Be the Wind under my wings when I am unsure and fear to fall.
Be the Wind under my wings when you inspire me to more.
Be the vision in my eyes as you guide me to what I need to see.
Be the homing in my belly sensing when to rest and return to still.
Be the knowledge of flying in my bones that has danced with angels
and will never lose the mark of heaven in my wings.
Be with me as I step out in this day.
adapted from “The Celtic Wheel of Year” by Tess Ward, O-Books 2007.
the text was mark 10:32-45 - Jesus' third foretelling of his death followed by James and John's request.
we read bonhoeffer's comments on cheap and costly grace .
the contemplation used the Ignatian method of imagining oneself observing the scene. we invited people in groups of four to each take the perspective of a particular person in the story - Jesus, James, John, another disciple. the meditation used the text as printed (NRSV). following the meditation we asked people to gather in groups of four of the same character, to share what had come to them through the experience. they then returned to their original group of four tom talk together about what the text said to them and what issue in their life it connected with.
we told some more of bonhoeffer's story and watched another clip from the film. then read a blessing from john o'donohue' "benedictus". the blessing was actually for the ordination of a priest, but I liked it and we had been talking about call and ministry (mind you its rather bleak in places...).
May the blessings released through your hands
cause windows to open in darkened minds.
May the sufferings your calling brings
be but winter before the spring.
May the companionship of your doubt
restore what your beliefs leave out.
May the secret hungers of your heart
harvest from emptiness its sacred fruit.
May your solitude be a voyage
into the wilderness and wonder of God.
May your words have the prophetic edge
to enable the heart to hear itself.
May the silence where your calling dwells
foster your freedom in all you do and feel.
May you find words full of divine warmth
to clothe the dying in the language of dawn.
May the slow light of the Eucharist
be a sure shelter around your future.
from “Benedictus” by John O’Donohue, London: Bantam Press, 2007.
We left people with David Augsburger's characteristics of dissident discipleship:
Radical Attachment (Core Christology)
“Not believing in Jesus, but believing Jesus and believing what Jesus believed”
Stubborn Loyalty (Solidarity in Community)
“True community: where the person you like least always is; if that person dies or disappears, a worse takes the place.”
Tenacious Serenity (Willing Obedience)
“Let go, let come, let be, let God; Get up, get going, get to it.”
Habitual Humility (Unpretentious Personhood)
“Humility claimed is pride renamed.”
Resolute Nonviolence (The Way of the Cross)
“Because my life is in God’s hands, I will never take my enemy’s life into my hands.”
Concrete Service (Concern for Others)
“The best service ever seen, goes unseen, the best servants are, at their best, secrets.”
Authentic Witness (Faithful Presence)
“Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”
Subversive Spirituality (Dissident Discipleship)
“My nationality? Christian. My discipleship? Dissident. My spirituality? Subversive.”
From “Dissident Discipleship” by David Augsburger, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2006.
we gave people a tea candle each as they left with the invitation to be salt and light in the world. I'd planned a clip for ending but we ran out of time and it didnt really fit in the end ("let it be" from "across the universe")