Tuesday, May 5, 2009


No mere crossing guard at the crux of life's passings, we are to be artists and risk-takers at its interesections

BREADTH, LENGTH, HEIGHT, DEPTH. "We cannot see the whole scope of Christian life -- the breadth and length and height and depth of it. We cannot assess fully its outcomes. The standard of excellence against which we measure our lives, the glory of God revealed in Jesus Christ, stretches out to infinity in every direction. We will never comprehend it entirely. It is the work of a lifetime even to try to bear a faithful witness."

PARADOXICAL CROSSINGS. "But we can see the shape of resurrecting excellence at the point where breadth and length and height and depth meet. It is the shape of the cross -- 'the intersection,' as Simone Weil once put it, 'between creation and Creator.' There is no practice of Christian life that does not mirror this intersection. As congregants sing together, they live in the reality that last week's songs of joy intersect with this week's laments which they sing for those whose voice is robbed by tragedy..."

NO MERE CROSSING GUARD. "Resurrection excellence in ministry happens in intersections, and the pastoral leader is not simply a crossing guard. The pastor is an artist of the intersection, seeking connections among the often paradoxical dimensions of life--ancient texts and current dilemmas, inner experience and public responsibility, what has been and what yet might be...It is the work of the pastor not only to move between the mystery of human life and the living presence of God but to live and work and pray and study and risk yourself at the places where human lives and God's life intersect."

-- L. Gregory Jones and Kevin Armstrong in Resurrection Excellence - Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry (Eerdmans, 2006)
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