2018 JJ Thiessen Lecture #1 - Prayers of the People and a Cruciform Pastoral Imagination
Violence, Injustice, Trauma, and the Ordinary Practices of Christian Worship in a Social Media Age, a 3-part lecture series with Dr. John Witvliet
What we pray for in public is reliable indicator of what we believe God is capable of and inclined to do in the world. Yet too often, what many Christian congregations do on normal Sunday mornings is to normalize a spiritually harmful vision of a god that has little to do with the world's trauma. We can do better. Intentional sustained prayer for the triune God's healing of violence, injustice, and trauma is surely something we can all agree should be a priority. But then, what kind of pastoral imagination do we need to nurture prayers that heal rather than hurt, that express both poignant longing and genuine hopefulness? What does this look like in quite different cultural contexts? And how can we pray in ways that do not overly politicize our worship, except for the politics fitting to our citizenship in the kingdom of God?