the questions, observations, laments, psalms, classic anecdotes, prayers, & stories of jeremiah aja. enjoy it like a sweaty plastic cup filled with strawberry lemonade & crushed ice.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

more than red or blue, less about pro or anti

There's something about living rooms in Wilmore, KY that bring such a richness to my life. Tonight was exhibit 368.4.6c of this. At the home of some (soon to be) dear friends I shared an an amazing 3 hour conversation that began at the dinner table and spilled into the living room. Topics included hit n' run experiences we've seen (or took a part in!), the hating of fried okra, how amazing the taco soup tasted, the suffering people in Uganda and Darfur, and even a bit of our favorite stand up comedians. Also, as you might guess, all 8 of us threw our thoughts on the current election with issues and propositions, our responsibilities as citizens of this country, and our responsibilites as citizens of a Kingdom that beckons us to live with a radical faith, hope, and love.
Here are a few (loosely quoted) soundbytes, ripped from the context of the evening, but yet, can stand alone without problems. Well, better put, because the truth of them can stand alone, they are causing me problems. Still, I am wrestling with every syllable.

Loving people doesn't have to include fixing them.

The question usually goes something like, "How many people were converted in your community last year?" But this should be answered as we consider, "How many people were pushed farther away from God because of the way your day to day living?"

What does unconditional love for people look like in every facet of life, really?

Lose the hidden agenda with people. It sucks. Love for love sake- not for attendance, sermon series publicity, or finances for a building campaign.

Jesus railed against the pious and religious. He shared meals with the marginalized and scandalous.

The church is the worst at displaying grace. (This wasnt said in the living room, but by a friend I talked to later, trying to process this all...thanks B)

Behind every issue and proposition on the dockett lies people- with real lives, stressful jobs, broken or healthy families, and deep emotions. When we speak of these people as mere "issues" and "situations", or "platforms", it is dehumanizing.
The Kingdom is here. God give me the courage to live it out beyond Nov. 4th.

From Wilmore, with Love.


Dan-o said...

AMEN Brotha! Love your stuff! Can't wait til you get home!

Sarah said...

really encouraging... awesome thoughts coming from that living room. i like the "take up our responsibilities of citizens of a Kingdom that beckons us to live with a radical faith, hope, and love." stoked to be a part of this with you, and those who are thinking and dreaming as well!

Erin Crisp said...

Great thoughts. Do you ever wonder if conversations like this will continue in abundance outside of this season in the Wilmorian lab? I sure hope so. Thanks for letting us peak into the living room.
My personal favorite is loving for loves sake... losing the agenda.

rogueminister said...

Brother Aja, I heard about this discussion today (at least Im pretty sure it was the same conversation) at lunch. I talked with Mrs. Barbee about the topics of the night and I must say I was a bit envious. I told her I am crashing your next get together. It would be nice to be in a group where I am not the dissenting opinion all the time.

I will be adding you to my blog roll and hope to get to know you and your wife more during our time at asbury.

Justin Bronson
aka RogueMinister

Sean Gafner said...

taco soup in the KY, really? sure it wasn't chicken noodles with "Nacho Dorritos"...dude, reading this is making me die for some good Aja moments! I miss you bro, and I hope you haven't left Seinfield's stand up out of the conversation now that you have "adhesive sesame seeds". And if you were talkin about me, I have never loved you with an agenda, when I need your financial help for a building project I'll come right out with it!

Justin said...

Word... looking forward to iChat!