Friday, January 27, 2017

Circle of Practice

In a small group this winter, I've invited a circle of 12 to join me in a practice of discipleship and resistance.  We gathered on January 18, a day and a half ahead of the strangest inauguration in our lifetimes.  And we struggled to name and claim a hope we cherish: for ourselves, for our church, for the world.  How might we live into this hope?  How can we support one another on a different path?  What will it look like now, in 2017?

I suggested four 'core' practices that night: prayer, agape, forgiveness and communion.  On a card that read "BROKEN POTS BEAR THE SWEETEST TREASURE," we wrote these four words in bright colors, holy ink.  I encouraged us to keep these cards close, to try on new patterns, to prioritize the four in daily life.  If Christianity is a spirituality of brokenness, a practice of power in vulnerability, it's embodied in the rhythm of prayer, agape, forgiveness and communion.  And it strikes me as essential these days: that we create circles of support and accountability, small networks of inspiring friendship and faith.  How else can to leave behind the boats, nets and business of fishing--and follow Jesus?  

I will pray for my own circle, daily; and I will pray for the world of immigrants and pilgrims beyond the flimsy borders of my experience.  I will learn the ways of agape and love, and practice daring nonviolence.  Discipleship isn't merely 'thinking' the right things or 'speaking' the hip vocabulary of justice and spirit.  It has to do with humility, self-sacrifice and love.  Day by day.  Moment to moment.  In a circle of practice.