Theme 2024 Beautiful to Behold: Broken Open Church

The two parts of this title need one another.  You are, as a person, as a community, “beautiful to behold” by the Constant One who sees and holds you.  You just are.  You don’t earn it by scrambling to find the correct answer; to be bigger, younger, healthier, more right, more (or less) of anything.  You are drenched in Grace, right now, shining with it.  It’s a life-long work to believe and live into the truth of this. 

That’s where the first part needs the second.  Because what the realization of being “beautiful to behold” brings you, if you let it, is courage. It brings courage to be broken open, to feel that grace filling you, to feel the pain of the world, and your own, to feel the joy of the world and your own tended. It may bring courage to know the questions of your own life as places of rendezvous with the Holy,  to allow the eggshell of certainty and of church crack open so that the life inside can emerge.

This breaking open comes prior to any reach for particular answers or solutions.  Without it we are just going through the motions.  In Scripture we read, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people: . . .  Jer. 31:33 (b) In Hebrews too we read (in some translations) this peculiar phrasing, “I will put my laws on their hearts.

“Why does Torah tell us to ‘place these words on our hearts’, [a student asks]? Why does it not tell us to place these words in our hearts?” The rebbe answers, “it is because our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy word in our hearts.  So, we place them on top of our hearts.  There they stay until, one day, the heart breaks and the words fall in.”    

When the church breaks open, so much is possible.

Through stories of Scripture and children,  ancestors and the land, woven with Rural Café times conversations, we’ll explore this together, searching for, as Robin Wall Kimmerer says, “an orientation, not a map”.

We’ll take this orientation into our taster and workshop times, where we’ll have the opportunity to explore how various expressions of how this orientation might be lived out.  (see the 2024 schedule for details).

Here you can read more about how RRTH came to be and the vision it holds.

Join me on the journey. Rest, Reflect, Replenish

Leave a Comment