During a recent life development forum we offered a session on Christian practices. In one of the four weeks we introduced the practice of making the sign of the cross on ourselves. This gesture has become a very powerful experience for me. It is rich with meaning and history and is such a simple way to proclaim and pray my faith with my body.
I'm writing with the assumption that most of you who are reading this book have concluded what I have: Preaching doesn't workpreaching, as we know it, is a tragically broken endeavor. The value of our practices-including preaching-ought to be judged by their effects on our communities and the ways in which they help us move toward life with God.
Engaging the body in acts of being present with God, including certain ceremonial practices, opens us up to God in new ways. People of faith in ancient times understood that such physical acts and practices as rest and worship, dietary restrictions, and mandated fabric in their wardrobes were of great value to their faith and life.
God is constantly creating anew. And God also, invites us to be re-created and join the work of God as co-(re)creators. . . . Imagine the Kingdom of God as the creative process of God reengaging in all that we know and experience. . . . When we employ creativity to make this world better, we participate with God in the recreation of the world.
The story of the gospel is so much better than the legal model suggests. It tells us that we are created as God's partners, not God's enemies. Sin does a lot of damage to that partnership - it disables us, it discourages us, it disturbs us - but it never destroys the bond that exists between God and humanity.