Soil, Story, and System
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning! Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to connect our faith with “big hairy issues” like creation care and systemic inequality and feeling rooted in a transitory culture? These issues touch our lives through the news and in our neighborhoods and even in our family life, but when we get close to them, they can often feel “political” and too big—too baked in—to imagine how we could engage them with any sort of meaningful, faith-filled expression.
God’s life in the world is incarnational. Flesh and blood. Air and water. Person and community. We see God’s incarnational wonder most clearly in Jesus, but our imaginations also help us to see our incarnational God in the Word speaking the glory of creation into being or in the Church creating spaces of healing community or in the Spirit generating connections and vision between people to empower hope in their work. God’s life is always coming in real places.
We want to be women who can see our city through realistic and hopeful lenses. We want to be women who can spot the incarnational life of God coming into our actual spaces and participate in that life, faithfully. We want to recognize how the Kingdom of God is coming now, “on earth as it is in heaven,” in the soil, the stories, and the systems of our city. And we want to tune our own lives to the emerging, incarnational life of God here and now, so that we live out God’s kingdom values in our everyday spaces.
The big hairy issues are big and hairy. They are not for us to fully understand or solve, but they are also not for us to ignore or diminish. They are invitations to ask what following Jesus in our place looks like. They are invitations to consider how the Kingdom of God might be inviting us to nurture life where we live, in compassionate ways, in courageous ways, in care-ful ways.
We would just love for you to join us for our fall See the City Circle that starts October 1. During our time, we will thoughtfully consider our land (our soil), our place (its stories), and our community (its systems) as important aspects of God’s Kingdom coming. We will ask what it means for us to be women who honor God’s incarnational life in the world by living out kingdom values in our city.
The questions are big, but we think that their bigness just means that they matter quite a bit to God, and we believe that leaning into them together will give us a new imagination for how we can connect our faith to those big hairy issues.
You can learn more and sign up today. (Registrations close on September 28, two weeks from now.)
To close today, we offer three scriptures. What would it look like for you to notice and lean into God’s life today in your own “soil” that sustains you with air and water, or in the “stories” that have formed your community, or in the “systems” that run in the background and facilitate the life that you enjoy? Perhaps these verses can spark your holy imagination.
Soil - Can you notice God’s hospitality through the creation in your place?
But your loyal love, Lord, extends to the skies; your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the strongest mountains; your justice is like the deepest sea. Lord, you save both humans and animals.
Your faithful love is priceless, God! Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the bounty of your house; you let them drink from your river of pure joy.
Within you is the spring of life. In your light, we see light.
Stories - Can you notice God’s faithfulness through the stories of your place?
“Let me hear what the Lord God says, because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.
Don’t let them return to foolish ways.
God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him so that his glory can live in our land.
Faithful love and truth have met; righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth springs up from the ground; righteousness gazes down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord gives what is good, and our land yields its produce.
Righteousness walks before God, making a road for his steps.”
Systems - Can you notice God’s intent to bless humanity through the systems of your place?
“He then took a little child, whom he set among them and embraced, and he said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not be but the one who sent me.’” – Mark 9:36-37
We are grateful for you!
The Kaleid Team