Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More Sympo 2009 nuggets

They're like the "dino-nuggets" we used to serve during family camp at Calvin Crest... just less chicken and more theological-speak. Same crispy-golden crust, though. :)

I'll be posting and processing thoughts from my time at the Calvin Symposium on Worship last week for awhile, so keep checking back for the occasional "nugget", and keep posting comments... the interaction is appreciated!

One of the things I enjoy most about attending the Symposium every year is making connections between things I hear from one speaker or during one worship service and another. This year was not without those connections.

Marva Dawn, during her session on "Worship that Ministers to the Afflicted" discussed two pairs of concepts that are important to keep in mind when planning worship for or interacting with folks who have deep concerns or afflictions in their lives. Both of which connected with something else I had encountered in other sessions.

I'll explore the second in a later post, but the first of these two concepts she discussed was the importance of keeping in mind the difference between the "reality" of a person's situation and the "truth" of what God can do with/in them. A person with a physical handicap, for example, has to live with the "reality" of their lost limb or debilitating condition, which very well may limit their abilities to do certain things. However, that does not deny the "truth" of what God can and will do through other gifts that they have. The implication being that if we only focus on the limitations of people with disabilities (constantly praying that God would heal or "fix" them, for example) we are missing out on the beautiful people they are and how God can use them now, as they are.

In one story example, she described a quadriplegic friend's response to those who keep offering to get him out of his wheel-chair with their prayers... he likes to reply, "That's too bad, God has gone a lot of good work in that chair."

We as Christians have to be in the practice of looking deeper than merely the surface level in people. And not just in people with obvious afflictions. Everyone has something going on under the surface of their lives that reveals both their deeper problems as well as their deeper potentials.

We have to go beyond the outer "text" to perceive the "subtext" in people's lives, as Craig Barnes reminded us in his session "Moving from Text to Subtext." As preachers, writers, poets, artists, storytellers... our calling is to help the subtext of Scripture and what the Holy Spirit is doing below the surface all around us speak powerfully into the subtexts of our own lives and the lives of others around us.

Yet again my childhood favorite, Transformers, was correct... there is "more than meets the eye."

God's grace to you,
luke <><

(audio files for the sessions referred to above, and others, will be available for free download in the coming months at

1 comment:

Luke and Marla said...

Good stuff!

"Now I know..." ;)