Last fall in considering a missional order, I did some writing on the topic of shalom. This is a significant theme in the Bible — its basic meaning is “well-being,” but it has a wide semantic range that can stress particular nuances, including totality or completeness, fulfillment, maturity, soundness, wholeness, community, harmony, tranquility, security, friendship, agreement, and prosperity. Theologically, it is one of the most significant terms in Scripture — in translating it as “peace,” we refer not merely to time between wars nor happy thoughts of contentment. In thinking of “peace” as we often consider it, we short-change this word of much of its meaning.
Andrew Jones has announced a new blog season for himself, following the Celtic and church calendars. The Lectionary calendar starts “Year A” on December 2nd with the Advent season, and I’m considering options as I seek to add some new spiritual habits (disciplines) into the pattern of my own life, and wondering how I might weave some of them into the blog happenings here. I’m thinking about:
- Dwelling in Luke 10;
- The “Shalom Lectionary” in an appendix to Walter Brueggemann’s Living Toward a Vision: Biblical Reflections on Shalom;
- The Revised Common Lectionary;
- The Daily Office;
- The Divine Hours;
- St. Benedict’s Rule; and
- A Missional Order / Rule of Life.
One of the subjects that came up at the Seabeck Missional Order Gathering on Tuesday (I think) was the question of language. In the formation of an order and the conversation around St. Benedict’s rule, some question was made about the language we use and how we express it. Before I left for the gathering, the question had been put to me by more than one person. After all, words like “rule” and “order” sound a little to the rigid or legalistic side. In the charismatic tradition, the verse that speaks of “a God of order, not disorder” is met with the challenge of what order might look like to God, and the fact that it might look very disorderly to us. In context, the conversation was essentially what we hope to achieve in the formation of an order… whether it’s done in an elitist exclusionary way, a legalistic fashion, or what. What does such an order or rule do for us, anyway?