NEWS FLASH: Our church might be in a “parallel process” of sorts with the NFL (especially the Dallas Cowboys).
Surely some of you noticed the drama that grew over the last weekend, and most likely continues even as you read this right now. (Here’s a good, challenging article written by Clarence that I just read in this morning’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram.)
Whether or not you like the Dallas Cowboys, and whether or not you even care about Pro Football, there is no denying that “America’s Team” and the whole phenomenon known as the National Football League have a huge footprint . . . one that is big enough to be felt around the world. Hence, just on the level of its size alone, it’s going to have some influence whether you’ve noticed anything about the controversy or not.
On the surface, the NFL and this sports drama as brouhaha appears to have become about who takes a knee, when, and whether or not they stand during the National Anthem. But underneath that, we can learn some difficult but important lessons, and even discover blessings of a deepening trust and renewal for us all that could eventually be felt around the world.
If we scratch beneath the surface of all the drama, blessings that we may discover are rooted and grounded in basic Christian values of respect, equality, and unity in the Spirit. Without necessarily using specifically Christian language, but living out those deep values in all that we are and all that we do, we could discover the embodied connection of compassion that Jesus demonstrated to the world and what he meant by “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37). (One of my favorite sayings attributed to Saint Francis is: “Preach the gospel wherever you go, and when necessary use words.”)
Which kind of brings me back to our “parallel process” with the Dallas Cowboys.
We as a local church are moving into a very important time called “Focus First” in which we will be very intentional for six months about soul care, deeper soul searching, and community discernment. We will not be finished then, but that time of focus actually will help launch us into the future by being more present to God and one another in the moment. It is a time of deep, open listening and discovering levels of understanding and discernment that can only be found through the always “New Way” of compassion that Jesus demonstrated almost 2,000 years ago.
If we as a church, and we as a country, and world, in this time of desperate need for healing and wholeness are to explore the question “What next?”, we must begin where God is . . . which is always right here and right now and everywhere at once, inviting us into a sacred trust to discover deeper blessings through everything that happens.
For recent blogs on the “Focus First” time we are just beginning to move into, see these links:
God, help us all to have eyes that see and ears that hear.
Grace and peace be with you all along the way of this long, exciting journey.