Palindrome on 10.16.11

We celebrated our 36th anniversary as a church in October and it was such a clear reminder that God has been at work in every season of our church’s history. It’s so good for us to pause every year and look back at what God has been doing so we can better and more excitedly anticipate the future.

The last creative element of the service was a short essay read twice. I’ve included it below and will let you read it before I explain it’s meaning.

The local church is the hope of the world

No.  As a matter of fact

God no longer dwells here

I don’t believe

Joy is a possibility

Our lives are better lived in community and

We are called to love each other radically

The truth is

The church is on the brink of extinction

I refuse to believe that

We are part of a story larger than our own

and

We have been changed to bring change

Don’t be fooled

Poverty is too overwhelming

Racism can’t be overcome and

Evil will never be defeated

It’s impossible for me to believe

Things will get better

In the future

It will be evident that

God can’t help

and you’re wrong if you believe

God can

I am convinced

That you can’t turn things around

I would be lying if I said

God cares

(Not to be seen, just heard in the voice over)

But you should know I believe exactly the opposite

Confused? The poem is a palindrome, meaning it can be read both forwards and backwards and it will make sense either way Go ahead and re-read it, this time going from the bottom up. Pretty different perspective, right?

A common theme I’ve recently been exploring has been how much what we look for dictates what we see. We look at the world and can get so overwhelmed by the problems that we become paralyzed and hopeless. But I think as Christ-followers we are commanded to see the world in a different way. Especially when it comes to our role as the church.

I recently found out that this piece was used at a youth conference in Germany last month. It is so encouraging that Christians all over the world are taking this message of hope to their communities and to be reminded that we are not alone in this journey.

May we as the body of Christ bring hope to our broken world.

– Jenny

Posted by Aaron Niequist on 10.18.11 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

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