Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vulnerability necessary for community

SASHET helps the church obey Scripture. "Weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15. Whenever a church of almost any size meets together, it's inevitable that there will be some who are sad. Some parent is hurting over one of their children. Someone has lost a job. Someone has experienced a death in the family. To live this life is to suffer loss. And, God intends that the community called "church" is the place where we receive support in our sadness.

But, often, church is the one place we have been taught not to weep. Put on a happy face! "How are you doing today?" "I'm fine. How are you?" People may be weeping on the inside but they may have learned that church is not the place (not safe?) to weep on the outside. As a result, we disobey the Lord's instructions for what should go on when we gather.

When we begin the meeting with SASHET, we find out who is sad this week. Then, we can obey Scripture and weep with them. This is the very nature of a healthy body. As Paul says in 1 Cor. 12:26, "If one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it.

*Side note: And, of course, it is impossible to obey this command if the church is made up of 100 people, let alone 1000 or more.

Walter Brueggemann on embracing the "darkness" of life...

"It's no wonder that the church has intuitively avoided these psalms (of disorientation). They lead us into dangerous acknowledgement of how life really is. They lead us into the presence of God where everything is not polite and civil... They lead us away from the comfortable religious claims of "modernity" in which everything is managed and controlled... The remarkable thing about Israel is that it did not banish or deny the darkness from its religious enterprise. It embraces the darkness as the very stuff of new life. Indeed, Israel seems to know that new life comes nowhere else." The Message of the Psalms by Walter Brueggemann, p. 53.

Examples of Psalms of disorientation and lament: 13, 22, 30, 35, 74, 79, 86, 88, 137

Interview with Desi Starr. Hobby is a house church planter in Denver, CO. In this short interview, he explains how the SASHET "tool" bonds a group and why he teaches it to every new house church that he plants.


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