I want to consider preaching as a poetic construe of an alternative world. The purpose of such preaching is to cherish the truth, to open the truth from its pervasive reductionism in our society, to break the fearful rationality that keeps the news form being new... After the engineers, inventors, and scientists, after all such control through knowledge, ‘finally comes the poet’. The poet does not come to have a say until the human community has engaged in its best management. Then perchance comes the power of poetry - shattering, evocative speech that breaks fixed conclusions and presses us always toward new, dangerous, imaginative possibilities. ( Walter Brueggemann, Comes the Poet; P.6 )
In my previous post, I shared poetry by Bruce Sanguin. The book is called, " If Darwin Prayed:Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics." Prayers yes...but much more. Like Walter Bruggeman puts it, there comes a point when the human community is at best just managing, and along the corridor of history as so many times before a side door opens, and...someone calls. In the past it has been the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel calling from the margins of communities that were lost. Jesus came speaking wild, scandalous redemptive parables filled wonder and hope that captured the mind of humanity.
Bruce Sanguin, is the prophet, poet of our age. We are at a time, when at best, we are barely managing. Politics are becoming more more polarized. Religion is at best trying peddle its wares from days gone by, like a junk shop the shine of its trinkets is gone. In a society that has spent beyond its means, filled with anxiety, it digs deep into its pockets trying to find that last penny to carry on the only thing it seems to know how to do...consume. The " Green Movement " seems nothing more than camouflage, clever disguises in which corporations and politicians can hide behind while carrying on business as usual...the continual rape of Mother Earth...as her children watch and say nothing. In an age where polarization is ripping society apart at the seams...the middle ground for any type of " real " conversation is empty. The emperor marches through the nations streets, horns blaring, drums pounding, shouting the new and improved version of the " american dream ", while everyone lining the side walks dressed complacantly, and afraid to say the " emperor has no clothes ". In a deep sleep, and a daze they just sing the song. Science and religion have traveled side by side down the free way for miles and miles always suspicious looking at each other, pointing, shaking fists at each other...have suddenly come to a dead end. They scratch their heads, stomp their feet...still miles and miles away from any real " Hope."
Walking in from the desert, appearing at the end of the dead end freeway comes Bruce Sanguin. Using the power of poetry - shattering, evocative, mysterious language he breaks fixed conclusions and gently moves us like summer breeze toward new, dangerous, imaginative possibilities...where hope brilliantly rises like the sun on a new day.
With out a doubt this is the most provocative, beautiful, mysterious, dangerous, challenging and hopeful book I have read in years. I can not thank Bruce Sanguin enough for what this book does...it closes the margins; it brings the poles closer togther; science and religion can grasp hands...he has opened up the middle ground, where we sit in the midst of creation, where galaxies and stars pin around us...where we can again have hope filled conversation. All while a creator beyond us, in us...looks on and smiles.
Isaiah 64: 1-8
O Holy One,
we are a sleepy lot,
slow to stir to the calling of the cosmos,
deaf to the cries of the Earth,
and the forgotten ones,
human and other-than-human.
We distract ourselves,
with trivialities that have become idols,
while the sun and the moom darken,
and stars fall from the skies,
we are mesmerized by the markets aluring power,
eyes unflinchingly fixed upon the naval of our own net worth.
" O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, "
cries the prophet,
or at least tear open our hearts, pry open our eyes,
and end this slumber that blocks out pain,
but with it, wonder.
Our hope, O Holy One, is found in eyes wide open,
in hearts linked in a common cause,
in small gestures of compassion,
and in alertness to you coming,
again and again.
As fire kindles brushwood
and causes water to boil,
so we await to be set on fire
with hope and gospel passion.
( Bruce Sanguin, If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics, pg 11, Advent )
Buy it, read it...and wonder...you will not be disappointed.