Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Life @ The Crossing: Living Inside/Out in February

Winter is here, no doubt. Everybody's hunkering down, pulling the shades, insulating against the cold. I don't know about you, but I find it way too easy to close up, eat a whole pizza while watching "American Idol", and just forget about the rest of the world. Phone rings, I look at it almost resentfully. "What do you want? Why are you breaking into my self-enclosed world?" Ring on ...

Yeah, it's tempting to get insulated and isolated this time of year. If we ever needed a community of fellow travelers before, we sure do need 'em now. One more reason to come out and stay connected @ The Crossing.

Here's how we're gonna stay warm by the fire this February:

** The Word: Edith breaks open the good news this month, sharing reflections on the theme "Living the Inside/Out." Say what? So much of Jesus’ message, life and calling to us is about living inside/out: turning our values and lives upside/down, living into what’s true inside so that it manifests on the outside. How do we even begin to shape our lives in response to that “good news”? How do we have faith that this kind of life & spirit power aren’t beyond us? How do we refuse the glory and seek the humble? How do we invite the outsider in?

** The Practice: Lectio Divina is the practice of “divine reading,” usually with the scriptures. It's a meditative practice that allows the word & life of God to sink in and find a home in us. Way more than reading the Bible, it's almost like taking an icon and meditating on it as the image/word opens a way to God. Lynn will be leading the way through this labyrinth …

** Worship Scrum, Monday, February 5: We gather on the 5th at 7 p.m. to check out the scriptures and creative possibilities for the month of March. Come share what you got! Email Steph at for details on location.

** New Horizons @ The Crossing: A group of about 11 of us gathered last week to talk about the current shape of The Crossing and where we hope God is leading us. More details later, but for now I can tell you that we're gonna start practicing more of what we preach, offering opportunities to join up and engage in social action and service as a crew. There was also LOTS of interest in starting local spiritual practice circles. Invite your neighbors, friends, and dive deeper into the practices that help to shape us into God's liberating, transforming people in the world. And isn't that what this business is all about?

And here are the February scriptures. FYI: we work with the Revised Common Lectionary, a set of readings that nearly all the major Protestant churches draw on; our Thursday readings come from the gospel assigned for the following Sunday. Convenient for the pastors playing hookey with us …). So meditate on the good news from Jesus, see what God is saying to you, and then feel free to join us and proclaim some good news yourself!

February 1 (Luke 5:6-11)
When they had let down their nets, Simon Peter and the fishermen caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

February 8 (Luke 6:20-23)
Then Jesus stood on a level place, looked up at his disciples and said:
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
"Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.  
"Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”

February 15 (Luke 9:37-43)
On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met Jesus. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God.

February 22 (Luke 4:1-4)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”