with walter brueggemann
May we not move on too quickly, rushing to repair without learning to restore. We have deep work to do and we should not fear it. If ache is our confession and awakening our choice, then solidarity is our calling and repentance our first rite. By this path, this way, we confront pride, dethrone ego, shed insecurity, and mature into fullness measured and known by our unity and love...Christ's own prayer.
We each are implicated by our bornness, by our belonging to this moment in history. Each vital to the whole and wholeness. No one is beyond responsibility or participation, yet "the repentance is very deep and requires enormous education," says Walter.
This conversation between Walter Brueggemann and director Eliot Raush was filmed in November 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Walter's, a voice we need to hear, carrying nearly 100 years of lived experience and most of that spent in the study and teaching of ancient scriptures. Edited by Brandon Bray. Produced by BitterSweet.
Repentance is not merely words of sorrow, but acts of restoration. How can I turn to pay closer attention to inequities and the pain of others? How can I participate in healing and restoration more completely? How can I reorient and reorganize my life to carry the burdens of my neighborhood more actively and faithfully? What needs to change in our institutions for us to host the gospel more authentically? How can I more generously follow Jesus' example of self-giving?
As we begin asking these questions more faithfully, opportunities will present themselves masked as inconveniences—but they are gifts. Pay attention. This is how we are drawn out of ourselves and remade, reborn. This is the slow formation and the spiritual nurture task that requires great attentiveness, as Walter says. It happens in mundane day to day moments and through otherwise unremarkable relationship with the rest of the created world.
"The institutional church at every level really has to take serious stock of how we host the gospel and what we make of it," says Walter.
"Go and learn what this means," says Jesus, quoting the prophet Hosea, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."