See how I lay in Zion a stone of witness, a precious cornerstone, a foundation stone: The believer shall not stumble. And I will make justice the measure, integrity the plumb-line. Isaiah 28: 16-17.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Friday Five: Words
Jan has come up with an interesting Friday Five:
There is a dramatic and surprising venue for Spiritual Formation/Sunday School classes at my church: Each week a different person teaches about a "word" that expresses his/her passion or interest. The first week someone spoke about "hospitality" with abundant treats on her mother and grandmother's china arrayed on tables. Other words have been "connectivity," "Trinity," "money," and "dreams." No one knows which person will be teaching until the class convenes. I am teaching this Sunday and plan to talk about "stirrings."
For this Friday Five, please list five words that identify your passions, spirituality, and/or life. Describe as much or as little as you wish.
I am wondering if Jan is a Methodist. “Stirring” seems to be such a Wesleyan word. ;-)
1. Integrity: Not only is this the name of an organization I represent, it is perhaps the most important quality that I demand from myself and others. It speaks of honesty and wholeness. I don’t mind if someone is wrong or right. If a person is speaking from their place of wholeness, I can live with what they are saying. It means that what a person says and how a person lives are congruent; they are walking their talk.
2. Hospitality: When I was young, here in the South, a system of “drop in” was a part of life. Often friends would come by. Those friends didn’t mind what the house looked like. They were always welcome. A cup of coffee or a glass of tea was always available. I miss that kind of relaxed hospitality that said ‘we are here for you.’ But now we have cell phones that can announce an arrival but often it is a formal welcome rather than that ‘toys in the middle of the floor or dishes in the sink’ type of welcome of times past.
3. Literary: I love to find well-written articles about my faith. I even enjoy reading 17th century sermons in which the language is sometimes difficult to bring into my own era which describes the Christ-event with a vocabulary different than mine. I also like reading sermons from those who are in different traditions because they use words differently than I do. My life has been about words in preaching, teaching and writing. I am always trying to find a broader way to explain those “stirrings” of the Holy that Jan will preach on.
4. Righteousness: I used to hate this word since it was often linked with ‘self-‘. But as I did a word-study on it, I found that ‘tzedek’ in Hebrew also meant ‘being in-tune, or balanced (as in shalom). Now I seek to be righteous, not by being right, but by being in balance with myself, my community and with God. It has helped me spiritually to be less ‘striving’ and more forgiving, more willing to accept others as they are, and gentler on myself before the Lord.
5. Risible: This is a word I learned doing a crossword. But it is one that I appreciate. Laughter is so much of what it means to be human. Not ‘to laugh at’ but ‘to laugh with’ others or to even laugh by one’s self is so healing.