Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank God for Evolution: Micah Bournes as Modern Psalm for Lent (Week 2)

This past weekend I was introduced, quite literally, to spoken word artist, Micah Bournes. His raw and rhythmic lyrics provoke our Christian conscience and prophetic imagination with creativity and courage. In this montage, created for the Justice Conference 2013, Bournes contemplates the world around us that is not all that different than the world as it always has been. He pokes at evolution as an artistic image not a scientific theory; a metaphor for how humanity has not actually evolved as hoped. Still, the day will come when the dreary and sinful world around us will undergo a just evolution from evil, sin, and death that continues to hold so many in captivity and distress.

As we continue to journey through Lent, the verses of this spoken word lend us an honest confession. They bid us repentance. They beckon us a God-ordained evolution of justice that starts at the cross and propels us towards resurrection.

Read Mark 8:31-38; Romans 6:1-4

Thoughts to Ponder:

1. How does this spoken word illustrate human sin?

2. How does Micah Bournes' imagery of evolution draw us into Lenten disciplines of confession and repentance?

3. Contemplate the spoken word alongside Jesus' call to carry cross and Paul's reminder to those who have been baptized? How does this pertain to our lives as disciples of the crucified and resurrected Christ?

Related Citation from Andrew Root, "Talking About Sin with Young People" (The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry):

"We commit sins, of course, but this is because we live in a state of sin. Far too often, what adolescents understand about sin is only their actions of sinning. They fail to recognize that all humanity is under the shadow of sin, no matter how good or bad; if you are human, you live in the reality of sin, the reality of brokenness. Sin is the name used to describe the state of the broken relationship, at its most fundamental, between God and humanity. Therefore, while sin left unchecked can lead to deep and radical evil, it is primarily a reality born in tragedy."

This delivers fresh understanding of not only Jesus' carrying the cross, but also our call as disciples to pick up cross and travel the same cruciform road. The baptized carry and burry the evil and sin of this world, both within ourselves and the world around us, as we enter into and practice the evolutionary process called "newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).