Friday, July 11, 2014

Where is the Fire in Your Bones?

[The chances of my writing for this Sunday's lectionary are kind of slim to none. I have way too much going on this week.  

This post is for the lectionary on June 22nd.]

Jeremiah 20:7-13
Psalm 69: 8-20
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39

The lectionary readings from a couple of weeks ago kind of broke my heart at the time.

First, a quick summary:

Jeremiah complains to God about how folks think he is a false prophet and he worries about that too but God compels him to prophesy about the destruction of the city that he loves, the temple that he loves, the people that he loves. There's no avoiding it: it's a fire in his bones.

The psalm is on a similar bent.

In Romans, Paul talks about being born anew through baptism and that we must live our life to God. Our lives have changed; the water of baptism have put a fire in our bones.

The gospel is about how having that fire in your bones for Jesus could mean turmoil in your family, even in your church family.

I was reading Jeremiah and Paul and Christ through the lens of having just heard that both priests at my church had resigned because they are answering the fire in their bones, a fire that has been simmering for as long as I've known them.

They're planting an ecumenical church mission on the San Francisco waterfront with the goal of caring for teens in the foster system.

And in between grieving and planning for the future of my church (hey, I am Worship Chair), I am wondering: where is the fire in my bones? (This is possibly the avoidance/denial part of the grieving process.)

Where is the fire in my bones? 

It was in my romance writing which had far more to do with ego and self and a need to be liked/loved than in living to God.

Is it in Africa? When daily I pray for the child I sponsor via World Vision and continue to pray for the kidnapped Nigerian girls? When the school run by the Order of Holy Cross intrigues?

Is it where I am now? Where there is a bit of security and stability in the midst of uncertainty. Security that I asked God for. I am learning so much about my faith and feel at home.

For the moment, I seem to have settled on the last, through conversations with others about it (sometimes that brings clarity to the discernment process), but I also know I need to be open to the call of God.

And now, looking back at these words that I wrote a few weeks ago (and have greatly edited), is it a wearing of Christ’s yoke, a courageous surrender to God’s call, no matter what happens to a safe, secure life?

Am I even listening for the fire in my bones? Really listening? Is this why I find it hard to cast down burdens and take up Christ’s yoke?


I have many questions and very few answers. But the fire is in my bones: it is in my questioning and my wondering.

Where is the fire in your bones?

4 comments:

  1. Isn't that a beautiful phrase, "fire in your bones?" It's not so comfortable when experienced though....

    I'm sorry to hear about your priests. I mean, obviously it's a good move for them, but it really sucks when beloved priests leave. In my last church, we had the rector, the assistant priest, and the deacon leave within months of each other. It was pretty devastating, especially since the rector was leading our adult catechumanate class.

    You're in the COE right? What's your process for calling a new priest? Are they assigned by the bishop, or do you have more choice?

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  2. I grew up in the COE (where bishops assigned, at least in the tiny church I grew up in) and now I'm in TEC, so we have a whole calling process in front of us

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  3. It's a rough process, but I see the wisdom in allowing time for the congregation to catch its breath before hiring a new priest. Will you have an interim?

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  4. Yes, we'll have an interim probably for about year if the last time we went through this is anything to go by.

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