Wilderness Manifesto

2020 is a year of disruption and uncertainty. In many spiritual traditions seasons of wilderness, both literal and metaphorical, are sacred terrains of transformation where the comforts of the city are stripped away and where we’re forced to confront life’s chaos, dangers, and worse. No doubt the current pandemic, civil unrest, and fire season have thrust many of us into the feel like our lives are in a season of wilderness.

My church has been reflecting on these themes in a conversation called “Finding God in the Wilderness” and we recently reflected on the Shema, which has acted as sort of a manifesto for the people of Israel in the their wilderness wanderings becoming a statement of purpose and grounding. With this in mind, we were invited to write our own “wilderness manifestos” and here is mine:

Wilderness Manifesto

In the midst of the Wilderness that we’ve come to call 2020, a season I wasn’t ready for:

Hallelujahs are still sung
Hope still shines
And the tomb is still empty

Kissing and hugging your kids is still ecstasy
Holding your wife’s hand is still a gift
And your family, church, and community are still image bearers of the divine Love

Doom scrolling is still not wise
What you put in your body still matters
And though Gods favorite baseball team is a nice distraction, the love of other humans is what you really live for

No person is less than
Elections are not the end of the world
And 2020 will soon be a footnote in Gods story of redemption

Every day is grace
The world is still turning
and our purpose on it has not changed

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

This year I will continue to choose love
Because love wins
Come what may

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