What to do?
It´s been a long time since I last blogged and I stand before the choice of giving a full account of my summer so far or simply picking up where i left off. I´ll do the latter... primarily.
Yesterday swedish moviemaker/director icon Ingmar Bergman passed away, and the world is a poorer place for it. Allthough his art never became a huge direct influence on me, the indirect influence has surely been noticeable. Not the least the way many of his films reflect the struggles of coming to grips with the morally strict and legalistic upbringing provided by his father Henrik who was a christian minister. This has informed many discussions on faith and the structured chruch that I´ve had. Moreover, Bergmans view of the church and, given by that, the character of God has helped form the debate and cultural climate in an increasingly post-christian sweden more than many may think.
To put it simply - Bergman arrived at the fact that God could not exist because of all the evil, all the moral uptightness and the lack of passion for the creative that he faced in/through his own father and this, allthough far from exclusively due to Bergmans influence, has become a popular image of christians. They are people of lacking and negative responses: No passion, no foul language, no movies, no theatre, no abortions, no, no, no...
This saddens me.
I allways thought that followers of Jesus would mend wounds not cause them! I thought that "church" ment a group of people sharing the mission of being good news in any given community and culture and time. Good news for the poor, the opressed and marginalized, the sick.
I thought "church" reflected Gods love through caring for the poor, the opressed and marginalized by sharing its life with them and speaking on their behalf. I thought that "church" ment spending time with the sick, caring and praying for them and even seeing some healed beyond the expectations of scholastic medicine.
I thought that "church" had to do more with saying yes to God and the work of love he wants to see than no, no, no...
I thought that "church" was passionate about that... saying yes to God!
What if Ingemar Bergmans dad had been like that? Would the world ever have seen a master-director from Sweden portraing the death of God and the dissolution of "church"? Or could the world have seen a man, imitating his dad rather than distancing himself from him, giving his life to be with the poor, the outcasts, the marginalized and the sick? It is likely (but not necessary!) the latter option would have left him without the Oscars and the artistic acclaim, but which is the most beautiful?
What about the part of the summer that has not been blogged about then? Does that exist?
The two weeks we spent in Kalix? - They were lovely simply because nothing happened! Nothing? Well, we did some pike-fishing and read some books...
And what about the 10-day concerttour of the american midwest, and the week of meeting other Jesus followers and leading seminars on "The post-christendom church" at the Nordic Vineyard summercamp? - I´ll return to them in future blogs, directly or indirectly. Promise!