It was not what I expected. In fairness, my narrow expectations were my own and not reflective of the innovative leadership of the institute.
I thought it would be a reflection of the current state of Lutheran-Catholic relationships in regard to the Reformation and then glimpses of what is ahead.
It was much more than that! Thankfully!
It helped me see that just as this conference was not what I expected, maybe the anniversary of the reformation should be lived out in ways we do not expect.
My own imagination was stirred by workshops that encouraged new practices of reformation using collaborative art as faith formation and relationship building, preaching that follows Jesus' lead of turning things upside down, liturgies and prayers that blend rich ancient traditions with our own dynamic contexts, and our call to be sent out of our own faith communities to listen to and work alongside believers of other faiths.
I found myself texting and emailing colleagues back home with words like: "When can we meet? I have ideas to share!" "Wait 'til I tell you..." "My imagination is spinning!"
It seems we would do the memory of Martin Luther justice if we adapted the spirit of his questioning and wonderings in our own day and our own places of worship and learning.
This what I am now thinking about:
- How do we encourage and live out worship as co-creators and not simply attend worship as consumers?
- As Christians, it is important to remember that we do not lose Christ as our center when we listen to, work alongside and even agree with others of different faiths. So what does that look like and where do we start?
- How creative uses of images and words add to my own worshipping context, engaging everyone’s holy imagination?
Maybe this is how we honor the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.....
sharing, talking, listening, playing, creating, working, singing and worshipping together!
When we see God in one another where we once saw a difference, a boundary, a border or a wall, we see God’s ongoing and loving revelation in and with the world. I want to be a part of that!