Volunteering: Active-Theology

Framing The Lemus Home (Destroyed by Fire February 2011)

August 25, 2012

Volunteering is a word used to present an idea of caring.  However, it is not always adequate to relate what is really happening.  Showing up and offering free tutoring, being a foster grandparent, ladling soup at a kitchen or helping distribute food at a food bank is volunteering.  However, when such work is tied to faith it is more than volunteering, it becomes active-theology.

Active-theology is an intentional theology.  One cannot fall into it accidentally.  Rather, active-theology is a choice.  When the writer of the Gospel of Mark tells his story, he images Jesus’ intentional movement to active-theology.  Jesus begins his theology much as he had experienced growing-up, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”  Jesus had healed a few folk by now, but the tie of healing to proclamation was yet to occur.  A leper, one who society held at arm’s length, changes that when he hunts Jesus down and says, “If you choose, you can make me clean.”  The leper asks Jesus to risk his theology with his word of choice.  Jesus is asked to choose to move beyond the healing of those who are like him and his friends, to move beyond societies acceptable healing, and reach a hand out to one whom society holds as other—as one who does not matter.  When Jesus takes the risk of alienating friend, neighbor, and family by saying, “I do choose.  Be made clean!” and touches the leper, a paradigm shift occurs and Jesus intellectual theology becomes active-theology.  Active-theology makes a practical difference for it intentionally feeds the poor, houses the homeless, and welcomes the alienated.

An opportunity for active-theology occurs next weekend.  Thanks to active-theology volunteers, a home will be ready next weekend (Labor Day weekend—Friday thru Monday) for siding, roofing, and maybe some painting.  If you would like to actively explore your theology, join others doing the same in White Swan!  Contact David at dave@justlivingfarm.org for more information.

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