September 10, 2009

Moltmann Conversation - Breakout Workshop on the future that is coming towards us

Finding the Future Session:

• Recognizing wisdom in the gathered congregation – tool for genereative listening

• Cataphatic = likes images, sensual concepts; apaphatic = way of negation

• Website – blog Sabbath journey (typepad)

• Icarus – Matisse… Sabbath is a way to a safe place in the heart of creation (6 stars/birds) - when we stop to rest, God is there for us. Life is not endless productivity! We don’t have to opt into Pharoah’s plan of endless productivity.

• Gospel of Evacuation (the chasm, the bridge) – future was always important to him in his history

o Moltmann – this gospel draws love away from this life to the hereafter, spreading despair in this life, we only live here half-heartedly – sell off these treasures cheap to heaven – in theory it’s a refusal to live, a religious atheism
o Subjects eschatology to chronos – flattens the big picture – the dance of God in 4 steps (1) creation, 1a) the crisis, 2) covenant, 2a) conversation. 3) incarnation, 3a) gospel/cross 4) resurrection 4a) easter, the beginning

• Cardiography – scientific monitoring of the heart – measure the heartbeat of what is wanting to be born

• The telos, the future that wants to happen is also moving towards us… so he’s not a cartographer, not a map-maker .. this measures the heart, more of noticing our posture as we face the future

• Metaphorical tool to carry over God’s unfolding future into our lives so that we can build a praxis for our congregations

o God as wholly other – the canvas of all that is – the zinsum, the self-restriction = separate and different, but encompassing all (he can still hold all of the omni’s – because within God there is self-withdrawl… kenosis!!?!!) (chora – empty space in the middle of the perichoretic dance) God created us and set us in the place that he had

o In the eschatological moment, God fully dwells back into that space and is all in all – primordial time and space of creation will end when creation becomes the eternal temple for God’s Shekinah. (Moltmann)

o Center of the circles – mandorla (almond) – overlapping of realities – al lot of Christian art is framed in this image, the almond… (heaven and earth, good and evil,)

o Add temporal dimensions – chronos (temporal time) – aeon (eternity – fullness), mandorla = kairos! – the moment that is pregnant with opportunity, the aha!, that of eternity that we experience now – the time and place of transformation!

o Does time happen in creation, or creation in time? Moltmann – time happens in creation – time is created.

o Biblical God is in time and beyond time (chronos, and aeon)
• Sabbath = a broad place, kairotic Sabbath place – two pillars of sabbath: covenant and creation, from both the chronos and aeon
• See slide 11 for covenant – incarnation (shekinah – assumption… God’s revelation in history) on the chronos side, and creation – resurrection on the aeon side (god as all in all)
• Generative idea of the Sabbath – in stopping, there is a memory of covenant that is renewed
• Early Christians practiced both Sabbath and lord’s day for 200 years – because both were important!

o Trinity same way (but I might disagree here, we need 3 circles)

o Praxis rooted in presence: present – absolute future – mandorla = epiphany of the ordinary = transformational osmosis – moment where the spirit seeps into our lives, from a region of higher concentration to that of lower concentration through a semi-permeable membrane – human soul into all of creation


o Within our chronological sphere – field of freedom, field of awareness conscious/intention. NOT Autonomy. Free when we confess the sacred bounds – bounded by love and justice and our covenant relationship. We don’t like bounded freedom, we would rather be unbounded Conscious/Intentional vs. Unconscious/Conventional

o John 3:16: the Aramaic and the Hebrew word for love is rechemet – womb (sounds a lot like zimzum) God created a place in God’s self for love, for creation – move into this space in order to be reborn (the part of freedom that is in the mandorla) so that we are transformed!

o Inconsumation (Rholheizer?) – the place of beginning of longing and restlessness - it is in the torment of the insufficiencies of everything attainable in this life that we come to realize that all symphonies remain unfinished. – we can never satisfy that longing in this life, we need a mourning of that loss (Jephthah’s daughter) – the only hope is God, but it’s an infinite horizon… don’t try to fill it with things, feeling of desolation

o Inconsumation and Kenosis, through transformation we experience discernment – innovation, breakthrough, co-creation – 8th day of the new creation

o When we are far away from the kairotic moment, time seems driven and chaotic, – when we get to the intersection, time seems to stop… crises can move us into these kairotic moments – instant community can form, sometimes we stumble onto kairotic moments but we look for intentionality – how we can move into these places

o We normally operate without going deep into this transformative kairotic moment – we talk-judge-pray-act-talk-….. and we bump up against that sacred/future, but never enter it. we restructure, reengineer, rearrange and are stuck

o Theory U (slide 23) - Shirmer
• On the edge = downloading, operating only from the assumptions from the past, living conventionally and unconsciously
• Open mind
• Open heart
• Open will
• Allow inner knowledge to emerge and act in an instant

o Learn by reflecting on past (downloading)

o OR learn from the future as it emerges (presencing)

o Applying theory U to the mandorla = downloading on the blindspot – moving through open mind (go to the limits), heart (step out of self), will (letting go) to the center. New information, relationships, letting go of it all – trust into the place of transformation…

o out of this place of transformation comes discernment. – new choices based on a new perspective = practice becomes the 8th day – co-creation… so our discernment gives us the power to innovate/participate…

o but this is a journey, so we always need to begin this cycle again

• To the open mind = voice of judgment, we need to suspend these voices
• To the open heart = voice of cynicism, the emotions of disconnection that keep us from going forward, requires commitment to love
• To the open will = voice of fear, fear of letting go of familiar, fear of surrendering into some unknown, requires commitment to courage, letting go of the things that we think are our “selves” to open ourself up to the Self.
• Many obstacles to discernment (crystallizing for Shirmer)
• Need for a holding space – world café, open space, spiritual direction

o Agricultural metaphor for this process in Psalm 126 “those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Farmer has to take the grain that could be used for bread now, has to sow for the future, memory of the “harvest” enables the letting go of the “seed”

o Language of our experiences – we tell our stories, “what was that like? – metaphor, to the ineffable – the wordless/place of transformation/sit in silence/cry/joy, to the mystery….
• As people in our congregations tell their stories, tease out the metaphor, help them to stay with that for a while – if they are open to God’s presence, they will move to a place of kairos

o Movement – Brueggemann (slide 44) – OT paradigm Psalm 30 or 73… life, death, resurrection

o Eastern tradition of deification, the impossible/possible, God all in all as the spheres merge

o Kairotic moment of possibility that comes in crisis is very narrow – but through intentional movement of transformation and deliberately letting go creates a wider space for transformation.

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