September 25, 2010

Shane Claiborne - ACU Summit 2010

ACU's Summit this year was extraordinary in many ways. Conversations about being "Aliens and Light" were taking place in many different places, from classrooms to coffee shops. One of my most favorite Alien types is Shane Claiborne. He has been transformed by Christ in more ways than a bystander, or reader like myself could possibly even know. He is someone who is referred to as "a modern day prophet."

Wikipedia's definition of a prophet: In Christianity a prophet (or seer —
1 Samuel 9:9 ) is one inspired by God through the Holy Spirit to deliver a message for a specific purpose.... includes those given the power to preach repentance to those who do not want to hear the message and to warn of God's wrath for disobedience. God's calling as a prophet is not considered to elevate an individual for their glory, but for the glory of God and to turn people to him.

My journey into the message Shane Claiborne gives started with reading Irresistible Revolution, a book he authored several years ago. From there I was hooked, Shane's message comes from the words of Jesus in scripture and is a message of love for all of God's people on this earth. He lives a life of simplicity, in community and shares Jesus every step of the way. He calls all of us to reach out to the poor, keep our eyes open for injustice among the weak and weary, to live sacrificial lives for the cause of Christ. His message is not new, it is over 2000 years old.

I had never heard Shane speak live. There are several You Tube clips you can pull up on him, but I guess I just wanted to experience what he said from the stage at Summit for the first time in person. I was surprised to hear a slight Tennessee twang, as he lives in Philadelphia now, among the poor. He has served along side Mother Teresa in India, he has served those with Leprocy in one of her homes. One thing I did not expect was to hear him speak so graciously. With the message he has been called to share he could have left all of us in a pool of guilt and anger trying to justify our living the "not so simple way." His words were full of mercy and inspiration, along with humor to help us all take in what he had to say in an easier fashion. He is truly gifted by God. He makes you want to live a better life, a better story, pouring into a story that makes a difference to people, God's story. He called us all to the cause of Christ.

For those of us who hear this story of serving the poor, and see Shane who lives among them, we can walk away from this experience and be conflicted, feeling like we aren't truly embracing this cause unless we do give away everything and become poor ourselves. The scripture he referred to in this was the "If a man has two tunic's and one man has none, you should give him one of yours." We just need to share what God has given us with others, our giftedness and our stuff. Whatever we do we should use our gifts for Christ. If we are a lawyer we can be serving Christ with that, if we are a doctor we can serve Christ with that. God can use all people on earth to share His love with those we come in contact with.

I could go on and on about this day. But I will leave you with a quote Shane shared from one of my great "shero's" on earth.

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. "
Mother Teresa

Shane is saying here that one of his mentors said to him
that we need to read the bible in one hand along with the
newspaper in the other. Read God's word along with the
happenings in the world to see where we can be serving.

Clothing designer..."a la Shane Claiborne."

After the main presentation is completed at Summit all
of the theme speakers are invited to sit and talk with Brady.
Brady will then be the fielder of questions that were texted
or emailed in from inquiring minds.

Then there was a class time Q and A with Shane where
the audience could come up to a microphone and ask Shane
a question.

Here is a college student asking Shane a question, and I
can't remember why he is waving around the book.


soul and culture said...

Love him. And, he's one of the most gracious souls ou will ever meet.