Monday, March 14, 2005

The Wanderer for Wonderwhat (5)

(Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)

Finding the question
He looked across the table where he and his wife were eating breakfast and smiled uncontrollably. For the Wanderer, it was the proverbial moment of clarity. He knew that a person should never go off on a life-quest based on a dream, because burritos and onions often were the fuel of dreams. But this was different somehow, and he knew he could never explain it.

“What we’ll do is take everything we know about church, and I do mean everything, and throw it on the floor. We’ll start from scratch, as though we’d never heard of church to begin with. We’ll just let Jesus pick out the pieces He intended to be part of His church!” The Wanderer exclaimed to his wife.

“Sounds great…but you’re using a lot of metaphor. What does it mean in real life?”

“I guess what I mean is: with everything we associate with church, we’ll press the question why on it.”



“No, I mean why are we doing this?”
She was looking at him blankly.

“Ok, let’s try this. When I say “church”, what are the first things that come to your mind?” the Wanderer asked.
“Hmmmm, well I guess the church should be about…”
The Wanderer cut her off, “No, no, no…don’t give me the answers you think are right concerning church. This is more like word association. When you hear the word church, what just pops into your mind, or what images are conjured up?”
“Alright.” She said, closing her eyes, “A white building with a steeple, pews, offerings, dressing up and trying to get spots out of the kid’s shirts on the run!” she laughed.

“Ok then! Let’s start with that. Why a white building with a steeple? Is that something in the Bible, or did that just come as a tradition over time? In fact, why do we automatically associate a building with church? If someone asks where a church is located, we instinctively give driving directions to a building. We never think of a bunch of people. Why?” He was talking with his whole body, and he could feel the fire in his belly.

The Wanderer’s wife smiled, got up from the table and started clearing the breakfast dishes. “It’s a new mania!” she quipped, mimicking a British accent.

“So from zis moment, I no longer am familiar wit zis…how you say, church?” he said with an exaggerated French accent.
“How you say, help with zee dishes?”

“I’ll have to go back to the beginning. Start with the Bible, see everything that pertains to any kind of description of the church, it’s government, it’s structure and format. See what’s really there, and what isn’t.” he said, staring out the window.
“Sounds like a lot of work.”
“Sounds like a lot of fun!”

For the Wanderer, the horizons had broken wide open. There was no turning back.


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