Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Truett gets a little postmodern... at least for a morning

So today was experiential worship in chapel. It was one of those moments that will be a permanent memory snapshot for me for lots of reasons. First, it was really cool to see professors and students worship in a way that if very meaningful for me. We were a little worried that it might not go over well with some, but everyone seemed to enjoy it, even our Dean! Second, I got to speak. It wasn't so much of a sermon but rather a Craig Nash style reflection on the value and meanings of the body- our physical bodies, Christ's body that was broken for us, and the body of Christ. I think it went well. Seminary is a setting where I always feel a little intimadated by practially everyone else, but being in my element today helped me to understand that I can teach to people who are smarter than I would ever dream of being.

Trying to put a really meaningful experience into words can be a strange thing. Maybe I tell you more about it later, but for now I am as exhausted as I can remember being in a long time. We weren't finished setting up until one, and I was so nervous that I don't think I went to sleep before three. I leave you with a picture of one of the stations...

We asked everyone to reflect on what their local congregation means to them and to color or draw something that represents it. When we put the pieces together, we got a complete picture of the body of Christ. Pretty cool. Adam and Josh did a bang up job on that one.

And here's my talk. You won't get all of the Janaleeisms but just read it aloud in my accent, and maybe you'll come close. Sorry if some parts of it loose those of you outside the Truett Community.

Thoughts on the Body
Truett Seminary
April 4, 2006

I think it’s safe to say that during my three years here at Truett, body is the one word that I’ve learned about from many different people and in more contexts than any other. In T&T One, a friendly Minnesotan helped me to understand that although we live in a world where physical bodies are exploited, they are not evil in and of themselves although many a youth group “sex talk” might leave one to believe that. That was a bad idea on the part of the Greeks. Enter the witty, bearded Greek scholar. Wannabe prim Donna of Truett, triathlete, and friend of rockstars. Although it’s entirely possible, he’s a little over confident in his video gaming skills he taught me important words like Soma…body for those of you who haven’t experienced the joy of baby greek yet. And Sarx… flesh (Sarx in all its various forms sarx, sarkos, sarki, sarka, sarkes, sarkon, sarxi, sarkas)… In semester four of mega- combined covenant group, I learned alongside of my friends and Truett alums, the importance of slowing down our bodies- of breathing, rhythm, and being still. And finally, in semester six of covenant group, a mystical and sincere lady assigned me a ministry of service, and the five wise women around me discerned that it should be one for myself. So finally, I took this idea of the body being a gift from God a little more seriously and headed to the gym.

In another sense of the word… I’ve learned what it means to follow after Jesus in a local body of faith. That lesson came in a most surprising place for me… a horde of Baylor students and a handful of twenty and thirty-somethings in a church called UBC. Being a part of this body means being real about who you are. Hands can’t be feet. A kidney cannot be a heart, and we can’t function as we should in the body of Christ if we are not honest with ourselves and those around us about who we really are- our strengths, our weaknesses, our passions, and our fears. The fact is, I need you to be you, and you need me to be me. Because only in doing so do we learn from one another, grow together, and sharpen each other.

Back at Truett we’ve learned about building up the body. Not only from gentle former marines who teach about pastoring and leading congregations in worship. Not only from distinguished women and men who ignite a fire under us to proclaim the Word in truth, but also in colleagues who want to minister to navy sailors, from rebels with causes who want to plant churches in urban areas of Texas, from social crusaders who don’t care where they wind up as long as they can fight for justice and help the poor, from professorial wannabe’s who seek truth so earnestly that sometimes you must rip a book away just to say hello, from the global awareness and concern of future missionaries, from the compassion of those who want to listen and heal through counseling. You see Truett has painted a beautiful picture of Ephesians 4:11-12

11And He (V)gave (W)some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as (X)evangelists, and some as pastors and (Y)teachers,
Z)for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of (AA)the body of Christ;

Though we have shared a fruitful season together in this place, one day we’ll spread out across the globe, according to the gifts we’ve been given, equipping saints of all nationalities and walks of life for the building up the body of Christ. It brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye just to imagine the Kingdom of God potential which lies in this room.

But for now, we are here together, growing in love and maturing into Christ the head of the body. Today we have opportunity to worship as a body in rather unique way. As you look around the room, you will see four different stations of four different worship exercises centering on this idea of the body. Feel free to move from station to station at your leisure. And when you hear the guitar and singing that will be your cue to move back to the center for our closing time together.


Anonymous John "Tina" Young said...

I GOT REFERENCED! AHhaha! I'm so cool now.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

damn truett. and i heard suzii paynter preached in chapel (i also heard pa pa wouldn't introduce her) so i guess some things they are a changing and some are staying the same. bless you all.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Janalee, I couldn't be there Sunday and I thought all day how I was missing you since I only see you Wed or Sun and I've missed both last week :( I better see you at the HUB!!!

7:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home