Sunday, February 17, 2008

Icelandic Kids Can Fly

Several people asked for a copy of my statement that I read at VCC this weekend. I've copied it below. We showed images from a music video by Sigur-Ros during the reading, which is also linked below.

Imagine a community of people who are different. They live as strangers and foreigners in a world that is not their home, They are on a journey, always moving toward a better place. They are not agreeable with mere survival or content with so-called “contentment.”

They hold no secrets. No closeted skeletons. No unspoken agenda. They readily admit what they once were. “Once we were nobodies,” they say with a knowing smile. “Once we had nothing.” They grin. “Once we were the worst of the worst, the poorest of the poor. Once we were vile, and ugly and conceited and desperate and dirty and foolish.” They stubbornly smile as they admit, “Once we were on the brink of death, but now…

You see, that’s their power. They can say “but now.” The fuel of their rebellion is not in their past so much as in the present reality of their future. “But now,” they say, “we live.” “But now,” they say, “we love.” But now we laugh. But now we give and sacrifice and serve and stand united. Once were not a people, but now we are God’s people. Once we were nobodies, but now we are a heavenly nation. Once we were stalled in the muck of the mess of our lives, but now we are a movement. We are a growing grassroots heart-burning movement of sold-out, unwavering, completely reborn and re-envisioned followers of a living God who prefers that we call him our Father. Under his love and power, we advance our revolutionary, world-wide conspiracy of kindness.

And our agenda is as simple to understand it is seemingly ridiculous to see fulfilled. Our agenda is love. Love reigning everywhere like benevolent dictator. Love in the back rooms and love in the boardrooms, love in the alleyways, by-ways and highways. Love in the city. Love in the country. Love in the suburbs. Love in the ghetto. Love in the barrio. Love where the black folks live, where the white folks live and where the brown folks live. Love that breaks through language and color and race and prejudice and ignorance. Love for the doctor and the drug dealer. Love for the prostitute and the police officer. Love for the jailor and the junkie, the pusher and the plumber, the under-appreciated, the over-worked and the under-paid. Love for all and all for love.

We are ragtag rebels. Rebelling against hate, war, prejudice. Rebelling against loneliness, boredom and meaninglessness. Jesus didn’t die so we could just come to church once a week sing a few songs and pretend to learn something. Jesus died to launch a revolution. He suffered and bled and died to see evil destroyed once and for all…and three days later he quit being dead to seal the deal and give us our marching orders.

Go, he said. Love as I have loved you. Love them all – every creature, every nation, every soul. We all can do our part, because we all can love. And when we love…we live.


Helen Ann said...

Thanks for posting that! It was a very powerful message this week. Thank you for reminding me that all I need is the Living God and what He has given me.

Sandy Maudlin said...

After reading these words this evening I am as moved as I was during church this morning. Powerful. Stunning. WORLD CHANGING! That's who we follow!
Thanks, Joe, for delivering His message in such an artistic way.

Julie Evans said...

Thanks for posting this. Wow. And the video. Wow.

Cindy said...

Reminds me of the Vow from the 24-7 movement. Thanks for sharing.