Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Sacred Way

I am currently reading Tony Jones' The Sacred Way. It is definitely a worthwhile read. It is kind of a repeat, since I read his SoulShapers book more than a year ago, which is a youth ministry version of the same stuff published under emergentYS.
Reading this book reminds me, though, of spiritual disciplines I have picked up from different authors. It is interesting the way this all works. Everyone is kind of on pilgrimage, seeking something deeper in their faith life. I recall a spiritual director (one of the disciplines I've added to my life) telling me, "The longing is the next step, Levi." I wanted simple answers with 10-steps to holy living. Instead he encouraged that I allow the disciplines to change me and feed that longing that I was trying to figure out.
So, three and a half years later, I am still trying to allow the spiritual disciplines I have acquired order my day and draw me closer to God. I am still exploring new(old) spiritual disciplines to implement in my life and change my heart.
For me, the use of the Jesus Prayer in the morning on the drive across the river has been life-giving. Also, on my laptop wallpaper is a Greek Orthodox icon (not the computer kind) entitle "Christ the Lifegiver". Looking at this icon periodically through my day gives me peace and hope. Most nights Amy and I read through the Compline service from the Book of Common Prayer. There is something very reassuring in the words of that simple service of prayer, contrition, and hope.
I don't know if I've mentioned it, but this summer our youth group is going to do what we're calling a Summer Faith Pilgrimage. Tomorrow we'll have an introduction to church history as in "How'd we get all these faith traditions?" and "where are we now?" Then for six weeks we will visit churches of different faith traditions within Christianity, (our church is non/inter-denominational with a background in the Churches of Christ.) During the course of this time we will visit the early services of four local churches: Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic and go out of town to experience worship at other churches we don't have in Dyersburg: Greek Orthodox, COGIC (the main church is in Memphis), and maybe some sort of seeker-sensitive megachurch. If anyone knows of a church in St. Louis that would be a good addition to this plan, leave a comment.
So, that's what we're doing. I hear people say that it is dangerous to take people's faith and appropriate the parts we like. I understand the danger in that, so we will be visiting regularly scheduled worship services with each of these bodies, and having question and answer times with a leader when it's possible. Right now I'm really excited to take our young people to the Greek Orthodox church. I talked to the priest the other day. He seemed excited to have us visit. We will be blessed and stretched, I'm sure. I will hopefully blog about some of these church visit experiences.

1 comment:

Drew said...

I read your words and I become jealous because i know that you have continued on this pilgramage while i stopped walking. but i guess that may be just it....maybe i didn't stop walking...maybe I was walking...just not in the same way. i have walked away from what matters to me the most...walking with Jesus. Your example is much appreciated...