This is a very delayed report of the recent emergent Malaysia open meeting. Mine is is work in progress but thanks to Alwyn who’s been pretty good being the first one putting up stuff on his blog. I decided (with some minor editing – more of corrections on names and info). There’s a lot I took down and we’re in the midst of compiling the scribblings from others groups and try to put it into some coherent form 🙂 or picture 😛 For now, enjoy AL’s post.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Learn, Question, Pray, Hide
Tree. Petrol station. Mid-Wife. Jesus as the Question. Jesus as Provocateur.
The first Emergent Malaysia Open (EMO) meeting of 2006 was filled with cute, enduring metaphors for Emergent. Participants shared how they were more than cosy with the (sexy) ambiguity of the network i.e. how it might be less helpful to fully define and formalise it. Kinda reminds me of prayer gatherings where maybe a ‘structure’ (I start, you end) unnecessarily complicates things and stifles spontaneity and flow.
Sherman insightfully suggested that Emergent is the kind of group whose value is felt in a trickle-down manner, whose life-changing impact might never be credited to itself. The spring performs its quiet drip-drip-drip magic on the rock which, after some time, erodes, breaks off and gives birth to new landforms. Kia Meng compared Emergent to a mid-wife, undeniably the pivotal part of the childbirth process. Everybody remembers mother and baby – nobody remembers the mid-wife (except God, remarked Pastor Luke, *smile*). John, perhaps with CNY traffic in mind, personified Emergent as a petrol station: a refreshing stop to get fuel, take a leak, have a drink, stretch one’s legs, and from which one leaves reanimated (both man and machine) for the continuing journey.
Emergent shall be glad to serve in hiddenness.
John, his second time at an Emergent meeting, also shared a vision of a tree, spreading its branches to give shade and fruit, its roots to bind-up the soil and nourish itself. (I can’t recall if he said all of this, but the Geog teacher in me is firmly in charge here…)
Speaking of nourishment, it was also reiterated that Emergent must be a learning network where the instruction, insights and inspiration are multi-directional.
Jack Said brought out the theological goodies, suggesting that Emergent aided the sanctification process via observation, learning and experience. Sanctification is the Jesus way of saying “self-improvement” – began, continued and perfected by a more powerful Self other than self.
There was a sweet reminder from Vicky (a Korean student at STM, worshipping at BLC) that, whatever happens, Emergent has to be a network in which its participants pray for each other, for the places in the community most in pain (I recall Yew Khuen sharing about this at the previous meeting, how we have to be most giving, most caring, most sacrificial, most humble in the most needy and pain-filled spheres of life).
Prayer. Nobody needs attend a course to begin, yet which defies rational explication. There is no absolutely ‘correct’ or ‘right’ way to do it. Yet not to do it is like a spouse not talking to you, like a network with no terminals, like a hotline never called, or hands unused. Explain to the satisfaction of everyone its impact and effects – if you’ve got eternity to spare. But the lack of an explanation won’t alter the fact that billions have gotten on their knees throughout the centuries, and how in the depths of one’s heart, one knows that life is changed with prayer.
Kia Meng, one with no shortage of metaphors, proposed that we ponder why Jesus is today often viewed as boring. Perhaps it’s because the church has too often pitched Him as the “Answer” to questions people don’t care much about anymore. Maybe it’s time to see Jesus as the Question, the Provocateur. “Who do you say I am? And why? And so what?”
A hidden, praying, learning, questioning, organic, emerging community. Something delightful for 2006, we hope (smile).
Posted at 01:17 pm by alwynlau