Meditations in the Desert: Rebellion

Standard

The way is shut.

We have not ceased our rebellion

And the Lord’s patience, tried again and again,

At last has rendered judgement.

Banishment from the promise

Exile

In the desert, death.

Their bodies fell.

For they treated their maker with contempt and their Redeemer with hatred.

They thanked him not but grumbled and complained.

A warning to my heart.

Let the Lord’s desert slay my rebellion

Before my rebellion corrupts my heart to hate the Creator and be banished from His promises.

Meditation on Numbers 14: 20–23

Advertisements

Missio agro

Standard

Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.~ the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 16:15

The missio agro, the mission field, is shaped and defined by the dynamic energy and intention of the Triune God. Its periphery, ever dynamic, is defined by the reality of the unfinished task and its meaning is found ultimately in the missio Dei. On this page I desire to share tales from the mission field both as a way to specifically narrow how I share my life in this avenue and to reflect on the missionary task in my specific context of Fukushima, Japan.

The whole inhabited world is the field and in these last days God’s Spirit is being poured out on all flesh. These are exciting days to live in. Perhaps the most exciting since the days of Christ’s first coming. But unlike the indiscriminate, universal, all places, all nations, all flesh, nature of God’s outpouring of the Spirit in his missional heart for all creation, human beings are limited to the confines of our time and space bound mortal bodies. Without supernatural intervention we can’t serve in two places at once and therefore are given our place, our station so to speak in engaging and partnering in God’s mission. This is a tremendous privilege and duty. By God’s mercy and help may I live into it well.

As I continue to write in these pages I will unpack some of the heavier language in this introduction but for now I want to focus on the specificity of my station— Fukushima, Japan. This prefecture sits in the southeast portion of the Tohoku region of Japan. Tohoku is the northernmost part of Honshu, Japan’s main and largest island. Known more recently for its radioactive disaster about ninety kilometers to the east on the Pacific coast it is prudent that Fukushima becomes known for more then that which has stigmatized it. Healing, repairs, pain, grief, brokenness all remain in many. Many have moved on. The tragedy of what has happened should not be forgotten but nor should it define this place or its people.

Looking elsewhere, I found it interesting that Fukushima is known historically as the “Fruit Kingdom.” Known literally in Japan for being a place of producing fruit I have strongly suspected that if what is true in the natural, pictures what is true in the spiritual then this place has an exciting prophetic destiny. I am praying and prophesying over this agro, over this field, fruit—fruit that will last!

I am excited to labor alongside the Lord and God’s holy people here and I continue to pray that God will ekballo; i.e. thrust forth, laborers into this harvest field, I pray that  God will prepare and continue to till the soil of hearts and that fallow ground now and yet to be broken will become a breeding ground for God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom which is a fruit kingdom of sorts, full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, friends, family, wayfaring strangers of good will: will you join me in praying for this land and her people? God so loves them as God so loves us.

Pax Christi,

Spencer Jordan

The Wide Open, Empty

Standard

Have you seen Legend? Do you remember the scene when Tom Cruise’s character has to cross the swampy waters outside of the dark sorcerer’s castle? Or what about all the stories where one embarks to cross some dark, misty waters alone. I feel as if I am about to embark on such a journey. But it’s not the presence of evil that terrifies me so much as the wide, open empty that lurks ahead and seems as if it will invade my own life.

Read the rest of this entry

Page CXVI album release for Lent

Standard

Page CXVI has been releasing albums associated with the seasons of the church year. As the Church gears up for Lent they are releasing a new album, “Lent to Maundy Thursday.” I’ve always been excited by their church calendar project and enjoy their energy as they remind us of the creative power of music.

I know I’ll be listening to them this Lent and may even write some devotions to pair with the album.  Release date is tomorrow, March 4th just before the start of the Lenten season.

Check out this window into some of the energy put into this and tune in!

Encountering Friends at the Banquet and in the Dance

Video

Last month I was blessed with the fortune to travel to Dublin for the Encounter Culture gathering with 24-7 Prayer folks. There I encountered friends far flung in different corners of the globe, met new God lovers, had sweet times of encounter with Jesus in worship and extravagant generosity poured out by brother’s and sisters. Saturday I encountered Jesus in profound ways at St. Mark’s, in the prayer room with Dayne, at lunch with friends, in a fire tunnel, banquet in Trinity College, in a ceilidh, scarf auction, poi and in a pub with my friend Danny. These were magic moments. Thank you Jesus!!!

Picturing Peace

Image

Picturing Peace

I took this photo and wrote the tanka imposed on it, if I remember correctly, over eight years ago. The energy bound up in the tension of this photo is trying to balance two sets of paradox. In a peace studies sense I was trying to balance the individual’s need to contribute and offer a perspective of life and the need for the individual to give itself away into a larger whole so there can be harmony. On a personal level I was struggling with the tension of holding on to the sense of community and meaning I was finding in the human relationships among my fellow students and the reality that I was not willing to admit, that the course of life would take that particular togetherness and scatter it.

“A thousand grasses” among the fields of people that cover the earth. There are individual blades but grass is never properly understood as a single blade, its part of a larger patch at least and in this case a field. The field of human “being” is always in this bundled tension where boundaries blur amid the winds of life.

“Waving, spitting out the earth.” We all consume something from earth and give something back. Something like the circle of life. But as we each participate in life’s energies our contribution, our respiration, our reciprocity is markedly unique among sentient beings. How we do this and whether it is constructive and life giving or not lies within our boundaries. The person who understands wholeness understands that we are kings under our own umbrella. Within these boundaries we are called to contribute to the creation from the unique position we occupy in the world.

“They will all stand together.” This is a human hope. It is a prayer. We don’t stand together now and we will subject ourselves to various kinds of unjust and dehumanizing systems in order to stay together in false harmony. We are driven by insecurity; unless we have found the only satisfying security. “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the Lord Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever.” (Psalm 48:8, NIV). True harmony is in conformity with the truth and such a reality may demand us to suffer in dying to our old paradigms and ways of gaining security but it will bring deliverance from violence. Where I was once afraid, and continue to be so amidst the impermanence of life, I recognize that God alone is the remedy for all of my inconstancy.

“In the midst, together.” In the midst of what? In the midst of that hope of resurrection and a new heavens and new earth. “The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ” (LG 48).

The ache of impermanence suggests we live for a better country and a city, a kingdom that will endure and hold us all in love. A city in which God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Predicated on such a hope I can firmly declare amidst the winds of life there is a greater, divine wind that is gathering people from among the fields of the earth and establishing secretly in their hearts such a kingdom that cannot be shaken and in which “‘love one another” is the rule.  The incarnation of hope or the future reality of our hope stands in comes to us in the form of joy.  Of the many responses to joy in life I think dancing together is among one of the more authentic responses we can have.  Dance away.