Advent with Eugene Peterson

December 6, 2007 at 8:38 am 3 comments

Christ PlaysI’m re-reading Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places for Advent this year. I continue to be amazed at the pastoral wisdom that Eugene Peterson has packed into the pages of this book. As I read slowly through the pages, I’m more and more convinced that spiritual theology is one of the most important disciplines for the pastor.

A passage I read a few days back has really stayed with me, and I want to share it here. In it, Peterson is discussing the ways that accepting Jesus as the definitive revelation of God makes it impossible for us to make up our own individualized spiritualities. Peterson may very well have been writing during this time of year when he wrote, “…we can’t get around him or away from him; Jesus is the incarnation of God.”

In the first words here, he goes back to the theme I’ve been hitting hard lately of the importance of “place” (a better word than context, I think). Incarnation is incredibly important for elevating the value of being a particular person in a particular place:

Jesus prevents us from thinking that life is a matter of ideas to ponder or concepts to discuss. Jesus saves us from wasting our lives in pursuit of cheap thrills and trivializing diversions. Jesus enables us to take seriously who we are and where we are without being seduced by intimidating lies and delusions that fill the air, so that we needn’t be someone else of somewhere else (p. 33).

However, it’s the expansion of this that really strikes me,

Jesus keeps our feet on the ground, attentive to children, in conversation with ordinary people, sharing meals with friends and strangers, listening to the wind, observing the wildflowers, touching the sick and wounded, praying simply and unselfconsciously. Jesus insists that we deal with God right here and now, in the place where we find ourselves and with the people we are with. Jesus is God here and now (pp 33-34).

These are the “Christ-practices” that are essential for any good pastor. I would even suggest that the pastoral life well-lived also inculcates these practices in the group of believers they shepherd. If you’re like me you’ll probably find some who don’t do these things, but you’ll find many others who already do them, but don’t realize that they are part of the amazing good news of God! Part of our job is to help people understand how many of the simple practices of their daily lives are caught up in the narrative of God’s mission to reclaim the world.

Maybe this year, as we prepare to remember God’s Incarnate Son, we can cling to the Christ-practices of the here and now. Maybe we can embody the way Christ’s Incarnation shows us a faith is earthy and real as we become more and more like the One who came and is to come.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Practical Theology, Spirituality, Theology.

Location, Location, Location Churches of the Mega Variety

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catching Meddlers Post and Random Books « deeply committed  |  December 6, 2007 at 10:00 am

    […] Catching Meddlers Post and Random Books December 6, 2007 — Kevin Watson Matt Judkins, at Catching Meddlers has a great post this morning connecting Eugene Peterson’s book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places with the themes of Advent. Check it out here. […]

    Reply
  • 2. Robert S. Duran  |  December 12, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Great book and good reading for those who aspire to do pastoral ministry, Matt.

    Peterson’s young associate and former student, Peter Santucci, co-authored several Study Guides with Peterson, including the Study Guide for Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. I met Peter in Corvallis, Oregon, because he made weekly visits to my wife Brenda in the Benton County jail there. He is a Presbyterian pastor in Lebanon, Oregon, near Corvallis.

    Reply
  • […] Matt Judkins, at Catching Meddlers has a great post this morning connecting Eugene Peterson’s book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places with the themes of Advent. Check it out here. […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Catching Photos

DSC00349

DSC00347

DSC00346

DSC00345

DSC00344

DSC00342

DSC00341

More Photos
December 2007
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Blog Stats

  • 42,854 Meddlers

%d bloggers like this: