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Martian Chronicles: Ritual Revisited

Mars OneWe’ve looked at a few different aspects of what it is to be “church”, to make “church” on Mars for the first expedition headed that way sometime between 2025 and 2040.

We have discussed questions of ritual, and even considered the example of baptism for how we’d carry forward scriptural mandates without clinging to denominational detritus out of simply habit.

An earlier post asked “what is the benefit of ritual?” Are there any good aspects to rites and rituals, especially as that would affect this Mars Mission?

Gentle Breeze (Julia) made a magnificent response in a comment as she listed a variety of things she would want to bring along as a Martian Missionary… Here’s part of what she said…

First I would want the Bible. if I couldn’t bring the whole thing I would bring the four Gospels and the psalms.

Then I would want my daily Bible reading notes unless I could persuade each member of the team to take it in turns to write our own each day.

I would find it hard to leave behind my favourite book of Blessings-Benedictus by John O’Donohue. I discovered the importance of blessing each other through my sister.

Too, I want to bring my very first Prayer Time Book to remind me of my child hood faith and how sometimes a child is closer to the kingdom of God than the most learned.

Can I bring a candle?-sometimes I light a candle when doing daily tasks like washing up. It helps me when i can’t pray in words and makes even an ordinary task a prayerful activity.

I want to bring bread and wine (non-alcoholic for some) to share in the Lord’s supper.

I want to bring water-fresh soft water from the hills to drink to refresh and hydrate me and remind me of the Living Water.

I also want music-secular and religious. I would like my favourite songs or pieces of both as they can all be used prayerfully.

I would like a radio or TV as I would not like to live in my own cocoon. I need to know what is happening on earth.

This wonderful contribution richly highlights the question of “ritual”. Is there a positive benefit, a healthy aspect, to ritual? Yes, I believe there is. Ritual denotes routine and predictability. All of us have dealt with times of change in our lives. Change can be unsettling, even scary to some extent. Routines can add elements of stability, predictability, and comfort for us.

When it comes to religious practices, where we often look for comfort and stability in the first place, routines and ritual can be very dear to us.

Julia’s comments are wonderful because they point out a tremendous source of grace, love, joy, peace and comfort in our lives, as we invest time in practices we develop over a lifetime of prayer and closeness with God.

We’ve all taken part in creating rituals… whether for ourselves, for our children, for co-workers or friends. Patterns of behavior that make life stable and predictable. Mealtimes, bedtimes, beginning work, lunch, vacations, weekends… all these things.

Right, so if we grant that the presence of ritual may add to stability and a sense of “hominess” for colonists very far from home and the familiar… how do we make positive use of that comfort, without becoming slave to rules and routines beyond the mandates of grace and scripture?

Coffee, tea, and mocha poured. * Branching out these days *… Pie sliced. Whatcha think?

 

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How To Guide: Making Disciples

There’s been lots of discussion across a number of blogs about “Discipling”, or “Making Disciples”.

Some have had really bad experiences in this vein, and have developed a distaste for the term, based on its intrusiveness and the innate patronizing air of persons who go up to someone else with an attitude of…

“You are broken and out of order, and I am here to fix you!”

I want to publish this… well… this “sermon”.

I think it’s the first time I’m trying to do this. I’m not sure I can make a “Player” work in this html bloggy format. The message is about half an hour long. But this is an absolutely extraordinary message that I think will change the way each and every hearer looks at “making disciples” for the rest of our lives. I know it did so for me.

I can attest to the absolute honesty of the speaker. Not only from knowing his honesty and integrity, but from having benefited from this process personally.

Here is the blog description of this message from its own internet source on http://www.PodBean.com:

Our Listening to Jesus sermon series leads us to very familiar ground in Matthew 28:18-20.  While often understood as a primarily missions scripture, Pastor Adams delves deep into the meaning of the words and their impact for believers of all stripes.  The call is sounded for disciple making as you go through life, baptizing others in the Father’s love, the Son’s forgiveness, and the Spirit’s presence in ordinary, everyday ways.  This sermon is a part of our Listening to Jesus sermon series and was preached on Sunday, March 4 by Pastor Bob Adams.  This podcast is a ministry of First Baptist Church of Bogalusa, La.  Thank you for listening!

Once you click on the link, it will open a new window. Just click the “Listen Now” button below the description, and enjoy a comfortable cuppa something. I promise you an outstanding half hour!

 Listening to Jesus: Go…Make Disciples

Please comment on this…

Have you ever heard discipling presented this way?

Does this seem more or less like Jesus made disciples, when compared to any other process you have heard before?

Do you feel this would be simpler, or more complicated than other things you’ve heard before?

Do you feel this would be easier, or harder than other things you’ve heard before?

Do you feel this is the right way to make disciples?

 

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