Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alternative Family Economics

I have three incredible daughters who I love and who I fight with everyday.  The fighting can make home feel like a “house”.  A couple of comments from Walter Brueggemann on the church family have helped me to see the bigger picture of parenting and have helped me to let go of some of the smaller stuff (the changing of clothes every minute, the complaining, the demanding, the toys on the floor, the top left off the milk, the spilled food, the tantrums, the noise, the shrieks, the sibling scraps, the sticky fingers, the loss of sleep-ins, the incessant “why”):

We are scripted by a process of nurture, formation and socialization that might go under the rubric of liturgy. Some of the liturgy is intentional work, much of it is incidental; but all of it, especially for the young and especially for the family, involves modeling the way the world "really is." The script is inhaled along with every utterance and every gesture, because the script-bestowing community is engaged in the social construction of a distinct reality. A case in point is the observation of Mark Douglas that regular table prayers of thanksgiving are a primal way in which to challenge the market view of the supply and movement of valuable goods.”

The claim of (our) alternative script is that there is at work among us a Truth that makes us safe, that makes us free, that makes us joyous in a way that the comfort and ease of the consumer economy cannot even imagine. It would make a difference if the church were candid in its acknowledgment that that is the work to which it is called…  The nurture, formation and socialization into the counterscript with this elusive, irascible God at its center constitute the work of (the church family). All those called in the Bible were inducted into this task, and it is not different now. … Nurture is aimed at the embrace of the new script and the relinquishment of the old script. Formation is aimed at receiving and living into an alternative reality and disengaging from the old. Socialization is entering into another world that comes by "switching stories." Each practice of (the church family) is to "improve our baptism," wherein we live with increasing singularity in this alternative script.”

(Walter Brueggemann, 2005, Countersciprt:living with the elusive God)


Every practice of parenting is to “deepen” our living in the alternative script of God.  Ever thought of parenting like that?  what difference could it make in your family?  what difference could our parenting make to the current gloom and doom of the economic recession?

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