love is more thicker than forget : ee cummings

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

It Has Been Too Long Since We Were Together
This has been a week of long nights, early mornings, rushed words, hasty dreams, dark clouds, pinot noir, the absence of cigar smoke, longing for some things, craving others, wallowing in sensory pleasure and the grasping pain of it. It’s not even been a week, after all, today is Wednesday and things only started on Sunday.

But it’s too long since we’ve been together, my heart and I.. so we have snatched tender moments in the days and nights..
1. Sunset on Monday in golden light, breaking bread and drinking wine for the sake of art, film, magic, storytelling and Hope.
2. An friend of many days and a corner store wine bar, laughing and telling stories of surprising mirth, sorrow and Hope.
3. A long day of fine-tuning, waiting, talking, discussing, listening, praying and Hoping.

Tonight the love affair with my soul continues.

It’s wednesday night and usually that would mean that I’m at youth group. At least it used to, in this community that I live in. Nowadays it means I usually work late, looking for something that will occupy the space and give it meaning. Some of my best work comes from Wednesday Weight Of The Absence.

So – I’m writing for the kids – my kids. Cos without being too petty.. even tho I don’t got kids of my own anymore, in eight days time, I’ll have 3500 of them at least. And for four days, I do youth ministry. Only four days to change the world. Anyone want to come with me?

Oh, For The Hell Of It
Earlier I posted here about our mainstream show at eastercamp this year. Sure enough, we’ve booked Elemenop, Streetwise Scarlet, Midnight Youth, Arms Reach and crowd favourites Mumsdollar to play this year.

The feedback has been heavy, expected and equally disappointing.

…Only what is Righteous and Holy should be presented before God. If you were standing before God would you have a clear conscience that the bands chosen glorify him on the weekend that he was crucified?

… we gather together to Glorify Christ for what he has done for us, not listen to a bunch of non Christian bands, we gather together to encourage each other and worship Christ. This is where we feel we cannot affirm the current decisions made here for Easter camp as a church family.

.. I really wanted to get clarification where you guys were headed as I am extremely uncomfortable where the camp is heading spiritually and we are starting to take steps to protect our teens in our youth groups.

.. As a pastor you can understand where I’m coming from I hope, we only want the best we can for our church family. And ultimately we are responsible for the teens we send there as leadership in our church, and before God.

.. I will not apologize for the Gospel, and if it is not going to be preached, I will pull you up on it. This is my duty as a fellow Christian. Iron sharpens iron, You need to know, we’re not into social justice, were into the Word of God and Christ Crucified. That’s the real gospel, teens need to hear that message.

This is exactly the kind of feedback that we expected from some groups, but it gives me great delight to hold on fast once again to the values that we do hold precisely so dear. When we gather together each Easter, we absolutely preach the Gospel, steady and true. We use scripture, story, image, you name it. More than that even, we present a Gospel that is very living, very real and very much in the trenches, exactly where Christ ground it out.

I love the story of the Wesley brothers, who vowed at one time to only ever use the basest, most vile and common language that was to be understood by the people, so that there would be no hindrance to their hearing of the Gospel of Grace and Truth. It’s in our ministry, care and concern for the last, the least and the lost that we find ourselves on the precipice of dangerously vile ground.

I like living here. This is a space that will change the face of the church in NZ in fifteen years, because as I’m sure so many will agree, a Gospel without true justice isn’t any Gospel at all. Grace and Justice and inexplicably connected in this faith. I’m even prepared for camp to get smaller, so that the Truth can get bigger. As if everything single thing we do at camp isn’t buried at the foot of Christ first.

Imagine.. a Gospel without a love for the lost. That’s exactly what I hear in these words. John Macarthur would be loving this guy, but I end up feeling just sad at the misled unfortunate shadow that’s being cast here. If you’re so concerned with the preciseness of truth, how does one account for half, if not all the apostles of the first church? Bring it on, I say.

As if our God is scared for one second of a cutesy pop lyric that doesn’t use the word Hallelujah. As my friend Rob Harley is quick to point out on the phone the other night… Simon and Garfunkel hit the nail on the head when in the 60’s they said “the words of a prophets are written on the subway walls” when the church was still busy blessing the Lamb and singing Glory.

See, the world is calling out for Truth, crying out over injustice, burdened with sorrows. And her modern day prophets sing the songs that make the earth groan… who couldn’t hear that and respond.