Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus, we come to you today grateful for your generosity in allowing us to breathe another day full of breath, for the privilege of being alive. We come grateful for the responsibility of being situated as leaders at Lipscomb University. You have positioned us to touch the lives of students, their families, their friends, their churches. Everything we do vibrates across hundreds or even thousands of relationships, plucking the tender and resilient strands that hold people together. Let us now take off our sandals, for you have placed us on holy ground.
As a Christian institution of higher learning located in Nashville, in Middle Tennessee, in the Southeast, in the United States, in the world we have the choice either to close ourselves off and protect ourselves from the world and culture that swirls about us or to engage this world and culture.
May we resist the temptation to disengage as the Essenes did finding comfort and identity in separating from the world about them, settling into an insular seclusion as though we can somehow be separate from anyone else.
May we resist the temptation to engage as the Pharisees did finding comfort and identity in judging the world about them, settling into self-righteousness and spiritual pride as though we could be spiritually superior to anyone else.
May we resist the temptation to engage as Rome did finding comfort and identity in lording over others with power and authority, settling into domination and oppression as though the power we have was meant to control others.
Instead, guide us as we engage this amazing world around us. We seek to follow the way of Christ as he engaged the world. Let us make an incarnational engagement with this place, with everyone we touch. Let us be fully in this world while not being of this world. Let us be generous like Jesus, giving ourselves away without losing ourselves. Let us be an aroma that promises delight and let us be the delight to the world that we promise to be. Let us change this place by goodness not force, by kindness not judgment, by connection not protection. Let every single thing we do leave a generous and unforgettable experience for this world to ponder.
With the responsibility and privilege we have been graciously given, we ask for boldness. May we be bold. Truly bold. Not the imposing boldness that flows from arrogance, not the flailing boldness that comes from desperation, not the explosive boldness that ignites from anger, but rather the generous and engaging boldness that can only exude from humility.
With the responsibility and privilege we have been graciously given, we ask for wisdom. May we be wise in leveraging our collective experiences, wounds, successes, failures, skills, talents, deficiencies and personalities for the benefit and blessing of the world around us. And yet even with all of that, we ask for more wisdom. Give us wisdom beyond ourselves. Give us wisdom that we have not earned through experience. Give us divine wisdom. In your word you promised that a request for wisdom would not be denied and so we come expectant.
We are grateful for being blessed with the privilege and responsibility of Lipscomb University.
We offer up this prayer in Jesus name.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
For my grieving friends, I know you are tired and weary and may be looking for a place where grief is not or a moment when grief sleeps - so you can also sleep. I also know such a place does not exist and such moments for rest are elusive. You may look at the days before you as an endless line of blank hours awaiting processing.
It is my prayer that you can find some way in all the disorienting emptiness to story your grief. In words. In song. In dance. In tears. In prayer. In poetry. In mission. In art.
And it is my prayer that you will have genuine and humble listeners. Real listeners. May listeners be near you when you can story your grief, the kind of listeners who are uninterested by anything else in the world but you, who are undistracted by any other care in the world, whose listening humbly invites more story.