2008 reflections

I was catching up on some of Dash’s recent thoughts and came across this post. From my vantage point “emerging” has submerged. My vantage point isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of what is going on in the world. If you can’t move from conversation to wholesale concrete action then eventually most everyone will get bored and move on. The EC has offered a poignant criticism the salesmanship and imitation of the world found in evangelicalism. All the while EC has been too quick to celebrate their arrival with networks, books and conferences without actually having arrived at much. This was the year I got bored and moved on.

The sad truth is a great many people in the EC are on the margins for more than one reason. A lot of it has to do with some serious personal dysfunction, bitterness and insecurity. My retreat to more solid relationships has brought some much needed peace and predictable support back in to my life.  It has been very good to put some things in to the past.  I watched someone who became a very good friend in recent years get married and move away.

What captured my interest this year was somewhat reflected in my blogging. The topic of climate change and energy were high on my list. These things along with issues concerning debt and the economy made me very concerned. I believe that our way of life in North America is built upon some very fragile supports. As these concerns loomed large in my mind church issues faded in to the background. My concern shifted towards the personal ethics of unrelenting consumption and unsustainable living. All of the sudden jetting to far flung locations to hang out with famous Christians became an ethically dubious thing to do.

The question of how we “do” church has always had its place but we get stuck their far too often. The question of how we follow Christ is far more important. We can reform church all we want but until we admit we really don’t understand what it truly means to be a Christian all of our efforts will make little difference.

We are part of another simple church. It is so nice getting back in to this mode. Creating an effective structure that facilitates the life of the church is pretty easy. It definitely doesn’t have to be complicated. The hard part comes in abiding in God’s grace and sacrificing for others out of sincere love. For me the question has become less about how to organize a meeting but how to turn away from my own selfishness.

Being a father has given me ample opportunity to learn how to love someone who at times isn’t very kind in return. I have one adopted son who has some difficult social issues. My experience with this boy has helped me to love when normally I’d be tempted to do the opposite.

For a large part of 2007 hope was in shorter supply than I would like. It has something to do with thoroughly researching things like global warming and peak oil. It is hard to see how humanity, particularly the well off western segment is going to wake up to the stark reality that will become all too clear in the next few years. Our entire way of life depends on unsustainably consuming. The longer we wait to change the harder it will be. During December we started investing what we could in making our home a warmer more energy efficient place.

The highlight of 2007 has to be my baby girl Lynae. I love being her dad. She brings irrepressible joy to my life. She is a sweet, beautiful little girl and she warms my heart time and again.

  1. #1 by Prairie Fire on January 10, 2008 - 3:30 am

    A very happy 2008 to you Leighton! Hope it is a great one for you and your family, and looking forward to catching up in person sometime soon.

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