Words to Plowshares

Not sure how the analogy works. But if it doesn’t hold up it’s a perfect representation of my thoughts.

I suppose words are often (especially in today’s market) used as weapons, as tools towards an individual’s will-to-power.

“He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.” (Micah 4:3 NRSV)

I mostly consider myself a pacifist but I don’t think any one metaphor or category can justly capture the calling placed upon one who seeks to follow the Jesus of the Christian scriptures.
I don’t want to use words to promote myself, to control others, manipulate perceptions, constrain others to agree with me, to “win” arguments or be on the “right” side of a debate.
If it is possible, and I’m not sure it is, I want to use words to promote the spirit of what I see in Jesus as a giving of self, a loving of the other, the deconstructing of proud philosophies and systems which exalt themselves and bring low the ones who are weak and unlike them.
Even if this endeavor is possible, I’m not sure it escapes being coercive. And perhaps we can never escape that reality.
Nevertheless, whatever the self-giving, loving, peacemaking that Jesus seemed to manifest, I hope as much as possible to produce here in words.
To use the words as tools of cultivation. For creativity, for spirituality, for honesty.
In case I change the name of this blog again, it’s current name is the title of this blog post.
I don’t know exactly what will end up on this space. I imagine it will be a hodge podge — an accurate reflection of my brain. I hope to give quotes from works I’m reading, reflections on experiences I am having.
I am presently engaged in two half-time occupations which together constitute more than the sum of their hours.
I am (1) a pastor of a small parish in the beautiful town of Acworth, NH. I serve in the only church in that town, a United Church which is the result of a merging of the baptist and congregational congregations in the early 20th century. It is moreover the church in which I was baptized and confirmed. I’ve been serving as Pastor since September 1, 2011.
On that same day I began my (2) occupation as Master of Divinity student at Yale Divinity School, in New Haven, CT. This three year degree divided into half-time allotments will take me six years to complete. So far I’ve taken four courses (and the latter two I am half-way through): Systematic Theology I, Ethnography for Transformation I, Transitional Moments in Western Christianity II, and Old Testament Interpretation II.
I’m sure there is more to be said that would provide context for what follows in this blog. But as it is likely the case that this first post will never or rarely be seen or read and that I will give all of this context again in some future post, I will end here.
Words to plowshares. Planting and building with hope.
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