by David Hosey
Crossposted at the RMN blog.
Playing guitar is one of the joys of my life. Everytime I pick up a guitar, I am once again amazed and grateful that I can actually make music come out of the thing. It's a little miracle each time.
I also love to write songs. I usually write pretty simple songs, nothing too unusual or amazing, but I love the expression and the voice that writing, playing, and singing a new song offers. Writing or learning a new song provides a new opportunity to once again inhabit the one old, old song that we are all trying to learn how to sing.
The funny thing about the best new songs is that they have a lot in common with the best old songs. They are made of the same notes and chords, try to express the same deep longings and mourning and celebration that the best songs have always tried to express.
This summer, August 25-28, I'm going to be joining with many others to celebrate Christ's inclusive justice and love at Sing a New Song. I'm attending Sing a New Song because I think that it is indeed time for the church to sign a new song to match the fresh Spirit that is moving and blowing in our midst. But just like any new song, the new song that the church is learning to sing has a lot in common with our oldest songs. It is a song about how God loves us--all of us--very, very, very much, and how God is always moving in new and suprising ways to create a new community composed of new and suprising people--people who, like me, never expected that we were loved enough to be here. It is a song about how we are called to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. It is a song about Christ being willing not only to die but to live and to invite us all to new life.
Ultimately, the new song that we are learning to sing is not about changes to the Book of Discipline, though I care very deeply about that. It is not about stances we take on Israel/Palestine, or on immigration, or on labor, or on any other justice issue, although I care very deeply about those things. It is not about withdrawing investments from companies that systematically violate human rights, or about continuing to support vital missional work in the U.S. and around the world, or about empowering young adults in the life of the church.
These things might all be expressions of our song. Ultimately, though, the new song is about the church becoming the church, becoming the Body of Christ, achingly broken but beautifully whole in a world that tries to cover up brokenness and deny the possibility of wholeness. It is about discovering that God's Spirit is moving and working amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, amongPalestinian Christians and Muslims and Israeli Jews, among all sorts of people that, as it turns out, are not outsiders to be included but are the very vessels of God's dream for our world.
The new song is a lot like the old song. What a joy it will be to learn how to sing it, all over again.
David Hosey is a life-long United Methodist and will be entering Wesley Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2010. From July 2007-July 2010, he worked as a Mission Intern with Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, serving with the Sabeel Center in Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in Washington, DC, U.S.A. He is an inquiring candidate for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church and also blogs at http://hoseyblog.blog.com. He is pictured above with other members of an OnFire delegation to BorderLinks in October 2009.