1. The measure of meaning
Last week Sandra McCracken released her latest record, Desire Like Dynamite, and (along with the new Indelible Grace project) it has provided a wonderful soundtrack for our return visit to Lancaster for Thanksgiving. She shares some of the album backstory here, in particular what she’s learned from poet-farmer-essayist Wendell Berry:
This is my great hope and belief about art: it is culture-making. Do with it what you will. Poetry can change people. Story can change the world. Global good starts as tiny as a Truffula seed. And if the sun and the bees and the rain and the birds give us their graces, we could have ourselves a harvest of renewal by summer’s end.
“Do you want to be made well?” This was Jesus’ question to the man laying by the pool of Bethzatha, where he had been for 38 years. Stop with the excuses, Jesus told him. Stop blaming your situation, stop blaming the angels in heaven or the devil in hell or anyone or anything else for that matter. Pick up your bed and get out of this place of sickness and despair. Do you want to be made well or not? Until the Israelis and the Palestinians want healing more than they want killing, the rest of us are doomed to helplessness.
3. On Sandy and art loss
I’m a little late in including this one this week, but artist Mako Fujimura writes movingly about the experience of learning what was lost – and what was saved – in the storm:
When you are a professional artist, meaning that you are making a living off your work, you do learn to say good bye to your work every day. That is what it means to be making a living. A friend recently told me that this is similar to a farmer not getting too attached to animals that will be slaughtered. Not a pleasant thought, but appropriate, somehow, as the art is feeding us, and my attachment cannot be too deep either. But the attachment to your creation IS deep and abiding. No amount of rational persuasion will change the depth of my pain as I heard the list of works destroyed.
4. Call to action on creation care
Members of the Lausanne Movement – theologians, church leaders, scientists, and creation care practitioners – have been considering what the gospel has to do with creation care. They’ve issued a call to action based on two primary convictions. Here’s the first one:
Informed and inspired by our study of the scripture – the original intent, plan, and command to care for creation, the resurrection narratives and the profound truth that in Christ all things have been reconciled to God – we reaffirm that creation care is an issue that must be included in our response to the gospel, proclaiming and acting upon the good news of what God has done and will complete for the salvation of the world. This is not only biblically justified, but an integral part of our mission and an expression of our worship to God for his wonderful plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. Therefore, our ministry of reconciliation is a matter of great joy and hope and we would care for creation even if it were not in crisis.
5. Africa for Norway
As one with Norwegian blood, I sincerely appreciate this:
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: boston.com]