In his book From Brokenness to Community, Jean Vanier writes, "Those with whom Jesus identifies himself are regarded by society as misfits. And yet Jesus is that person who is hungry; Jesus is that woman who is confused and naked. Wouldn't it be extraordinary if we all discovered that? The face of the world would be changed. We would then no longer want to compete in going up the ladder to God in the light, in the sun and in beauty, to be honored because of our theological knowledge. Or if we did want knowledge, it wold be because we believe that our knowledge and theology are important only so long as they are used to serve and honor the poor."
I have a theology degree. One that I am extremely proud to have received. But like all my other degrees and awards, this hard-earned piece of paper lives in a frame and sits in a box somewhere in my house. In my heart, however, lives the love of Jesus. And my head is filled with the knowledge of God. But somewhere between the head and the heart are my eyes. Each day I am learning to see Jesus with those eyes, by looking for ways to love others and honor God.
A companion of Francis of Assisi, Brother Juniper is remembered as a "fool for Christ," and there are all sorts of wild stories about his antics. He was notorious for constantly giving this possessions away and living with a winsomeness that sometimes got him into trouble. At one point, he was ordered by a superior not to give away his outer garment to the beggars anymore. But it wasn't long before he met someone in need who asked him for some clothing. He said, "My superior has told me under obedience not to give my clothing to anyone. But if you pull it off my back, I certainly will not prevent you." Francis is said to have joked about how he wished for a forest of Junipers.
The story of Brother Juniper and quote from Jean Vanier can be found with many other great stories and liturgy in Shane Claiborne's Common Prayer: A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals. (Zondervan: 2010).
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”