Good afternoon all! Sorry for the delay…this morning was crazy but thinking about it, it may be a pleasant surprise for your afternoon! Just a little over a week left for our devos together. Hope you have enjoyed!
Philippians 2:1-11 (MSG)
2 1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, becamehuman! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
This week my schedule has been packed. Today already I have had 5 meetings with different people or groups of people. Yesterday I had many meetings with either individuals or families. Remember when I wrote about an extroverted day? I have had those and they have been glorious so far. I have heard so many stories from people about lives well lived, ambitions, dreams, updates, and just stories about life in general. People have been showing me pictures and making sure I have heard about grandchildren. They have talked about conflict and love. I have giggled with people, prayed with people, sung with people, and today I even debated with people (I love the theological coffee group on Thursdays).
Plus this all comes in the context of a deadline for our homeless folks on Tuesday the 31st. The congregation took a survey and the majority of the congregation has spoken on what we call “option 3.” This option brings us mostly into compliance by taking down the tents but not kicking people off site. We will still allow people to sleep on site just not in “housing structures.” We are intentionally planning to bring more resources on site (tarps, blankets, maybe even a drier) and beef up our advocacy and our voice while still working on a plan. I am hoping we decide to keep our buildings open a little bit longer with more grace and continue teaching life skills.
Out of those conversations came an idea that we will be launching (as soon as I write). Because the deadline is happening during Holy Week (what timing, right? especially when the first letter came out at Christmas) we are calling for Holy Tent Monday. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the everyday congregation we are asking that everyone spend the night in a tent somewhere on Monday night. If you are local, bring your tent over to the CoOp and set up camp on our property for Monday night. If you can’t make it, set up a tent in your front yard, back yard, wherever and take a picture for us. We will be using the tag of #holytent. At 7am, we will ALL take down our tents and at 7:30 am we will be hosting coffee and pastries in our Great Room to pray together (especially blessings on our everyday congregation), to talk about advocacy, and to be together during Holy Week. Will you join us?
What have these conversations taught me? I am so humble to hear them. In order to hear a story, and to be in that story or in that tent with another, we have to empty out our own stuff (what we are going to say, a better story, etc) in order to be fully present. To listen. To be with. Jesus did this for us and became fully human in order to be with. This is the only reason I can worship our God. God knows what it is to be with you and me.
I wish that for us this season. #holytent