Last Thursday I spent the afternoon watching the documentary "The Hip Hop Project." The Film focused it's attention on a group of artists out of Brooklyn that was connected to an after school program. It was a good film, not excellently shot, but worth watching if you are involved with working with people.
For me the film was a true manifestation of the church. It was the church as I want or desire church to be. They were honest, vulnerable, imperfect. They prayed together, worked with one another, was challenged by one another. The 'rabbi' was not perfect and was forced to deal with his own issues, those of being abandoned as a child and grew up without his mother. Those are tough issues and many people face the issue of what does it mean to be left without love.
The group as a whole seemed to have genuine love for one another. They seemed to really want the betterment of a culture that told them that material goods could provide the worth that they needed. They used culture to express their pain but seemed to be a dialogue where they could work at living outside of the pressures of the culture. The music was the escape as well as the purpose.
I walked out of the movie seeing what the church could look like if we were not afraid to engage in and with our culture. I am excited to see church happen outside of the church. I have spent this quarter being the teachers assistant to Theology and Hip Hop culture. I am in love with the culture. I am in love with engaging in this dialogue and helping to push the universal church to move past theological traditions and move into a space that uses culture to help see and communicate the nature of God.
There is no perfect way to do church or even be the church...all i know is that i have to move with it. Listen. Hear. Ask a lot of questions. I don't know where it will lead me but I hope that it continues to have me fall in love with life, living, people, and interacting with people. I need to be vulnerable. I need to be honest. I need to explore. I need to love others without strings attached but I need to feel it in return. That's the beauty of community. What can we learn from community? Where can we be vulnerable and where can we be guarded?
How do we explore in this space and where do we let ourselves create and be vulnerable?