Campfires in Broad Daylight

Campfire
Image via Wikipedia

I often sing the praises of a late night talk where you feel safe enough to be open about those things that seem so secret and so taboo in the daylight, but this weekend I have learnt something new. I have learnt that there is something much greater. It is the conversation when those words so seldom spoken except for in hushed whispers by campfires are spoken in daylight in the midst of God’s glorious community. There in those moments bondage is broken and the chained break free.

Broughton Knox once said that God can be defined as relationship. This idea is furthered by those who speak about the Trinune or Divine community that is found within the Godhead. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist in unity and community. God is relationship, huh? Let’s think about this and let’s think about campfire conversations being brought into broad daylight.

For the next few minutes as you read I want you to forget that the idea of ‘relationship’ has been soiled for you by broken relationships. I want you to think back to when you were a child and your father was as powerful as any superhero and your mum could heal any wound by a simple kiss. The divine relationship is perfect. It is not a broken relationship. It is one which is built on the foundation of grace found in Jesus Christ. The divine relationship is one where openness exists eternally, and although among the Godhead there will be nothing shameful, through the Holy Spirit we are invited to participate in this divine community (thought borrowed from Jack Gabig, can’t claim it as my own) and so when we are brought into this community we bring with us our brokenness. Yet, somehow, divine community remains without blemish. Without blemish. Remember it. Think the ads for Proactive on TV.

Campfire conversations are some of the most valuable conversations I’ve ever had. Sometimes there isn’t a campfire, but these conversations always take place under cover of the stars because somehow it makes speaking safer. Somehow the stars shield us from the judgment of the day. I had the privilege of a campfire conversation with a friend this weekend and walked away with a smile. But. BUT. There was another moment when this thought became a clearly formed thought. Someone from the church stood up and asked us to pray for someone within her family. She made this request not formally, not with composure, but with tears. And I realised that when we speak those words out loud in the day we tear away the secrecy of deep desires that aren’t sinful but not always socially acceptable, and we tear away the shame of issues that we struggle with.

And so here it is. Here is the moment when I wish I could tie together the last two paragraphs in some eloquent way that would bring a smile to your face, but truthfully, I’m a bit of a bumbling fumbling disciple this weekend and am not entirely sure what words to use. I’m trying to weigh up these thoughts of community and of openness and oh man, do I want to see these things in practice. But it takes courage. It takes so much courage.

What do you think?

I often sing the praises of a late night talk where you feel safe enough to be open about those things that seem so secret and so taboo in the daylight, but this weekend I have learnt something new. I have learnt that there is something much greater. It is the conversation when those words so seldom spoken except for in hushed whispers by campfires are spoken in daylight in the midst of God’s glorious community. There in those moments bondage is broken and the chained break free.

Broughton Knox once said that God can be defined as relationship. This idea is furthered by those who speak about the Trinune or Divine community that is found within the Godhead. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist in unity and community. God is relationship, huh? Let’s think about this and let’s think about campfire conversations being brought into broad daylight.

For the next few minutes as you read I want you to forget that the idea of ‘relationship’ has been soiled for you by broken relationships. I want you to think back to when you were a child and your father was as powerful as any superhero and your mum could heal any wound by a simple kiss. The divine relationship is perfect. It is not a broken relationship. It is one which is built on the foundation of grace found in Jesus Christ. The divine relationship is one where openness exists eternally, and although among the Godhead there will be nothing shameful, through the Holy Spirit we are invited to participate in this divine community (thought borrowed from Jack Gabig, can’t claim it as my own) and so when we are brought into this community we bring with us our brokenness. Yet, somehow, divine community remains without blemish. Without blemish. Remember it. Think the ads for Proactive on TV.

Campfire conversations are some of the most valuable conversations I’ve ever had. Sometimes there isn’t a campfire, but these conversations always take place under cover of the stars because somehow it makes speaking safer. Somehow the stars shield us from the judgment of the day. I had the privilege of a campfire conversation with a friend this weekend and walked away with a smile. But. BUT. There was another moment when this thought became a clearly formed thought. Someone from the church stood up and asked us to pray for someone within her family. She made this request not formally, not with composure, but with tears. And I realised that when we speak those words out loud in the day we tear away the secrecy of deep desires that aren’t sinful but not always socially acceptable, and we tear away the shame of issues that we struggle with.

And so here it is. Here is the moment when I wish I could tie together the last two paragraphs in some eloquent way that would bring a smile to your face, but truthfully, I’m a bit of a bumbling fumbling disciple this weekend and am not entirely sure what words to use. I’m trying to weigh up these thoughts of community and of openness and oh man, do I want to see these things in practice. But it takes courage. It takes so much courage.

What do you think?

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