Post a Comment » Written on March 22nd, 2013     
Filed under: Culture, Missional, Visual Arts

Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS and originally appeared as companion reading material for C3’s current sermon series.

Divorce. Lust. Politics.

Some things are just really, really hard to talk about. In part, it’s because they affect so many people in so many different ways, and lots of those people are very dear to us and we don’t want to hurt our relationship with them by saying something that could be misinterpreted. But really, when we get right down to it, some things are just not as cut-and-dry as we wish they were. We try to make them black and white and easy to digest, but the discussion goes round and around and around again, one answer feeling trite or shallow, another answer feeling like it’ll require too much from me, still another feeling like it’ll offend too many people. Our culture has a tendency to make certain things awkward to discuss because of unspoken taboos; don’t mess with our individuality, for example, it’ll go very badly for you if you do.

So given that we probably shouldn’t passive-aggressively avoid them, how ought we discuss these difficult issues?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard the phrase “acting our way into a new way of thinking” in the sermons at C3. In case you have no idea what this means, I discovered a TED talk by Dr. Amy Cuddy that illustrates this really well. The principle behind what Dr. Cuddy and her colleagues describe has a HUGE range of possibilities for application in all areas of life. But for our purposes, I want to draw your attention to something we did this past week in our worship gatherings because it illustrates so well the answer to this question. For those of you who couldn’t join us, during our prayer time before the sermon, we asked that each half of the sanctuary turned to face each other while standing. We then asked that you raise a hand with open palm towards each other across the room, a posture we called “blessing each other.” In social psychology, this is called an “open posture.”

We wanted to begin our conversation with a posture of grace.

Remember this? This is what I’m talking about

By physically opening ourselves in a posture of vulnerability and openness, we allow the reality of the other to become more tangible to us; we begin to act our way to a new way of thinking. Truth without tears is a dangerous thing; people have been deeply wounded by discussions about divorce, sexuality, and politics. We are to enter discussions of difficulty with hospitality, because hospitality is the act of advocating for the other. We wanted to posture ourselves first and foremost in a way that helps us to care about those around us, to show them – and ourselves – that those with different experiences or those who had made different, often difficult choices are no less human than we. We did not place ourselves in a posture of power, but in a posture of confident humility.

And nobody can cast the first stone.

Question for discussion: what other postures can (or do) you take in your workplace, school, or home to advocate for the other?

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