Well, it's Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras... and if you know anything about Brazil you know that that means CARNIVAL... and that means ANYTHING goes.
It meant church retreat time.
All the churches would get away from the cities, where 'awful behavior' would be everywhere, and go to a camp site out in the country where we'd pray and read our Bibles and fellowship with other believers.
We'd do the exact opposite of the CARNIVAL attenders in Brazil, especially Rio de Janeiro.
And then I thought, "Maybe we shouldn't have retreated during Carnival?" Maybe we should have advanced... and not preached in the streets... but gone out and shown love?
And maybe - like Donald Miller tells about in his book BLUE LIKE JAZZ - have a confessional tent. Oh, not one where we'd have folks come in and confess THEIR sins, but where folks would come in and we, the Christ-followers - would confess OUR sins to them. Sins like the "Holy Crusades", and slavery, and our oft-times judgmental attitude, and our colonial missionary work (where we'd go to a country and try and make their culture like ours, instead of just bringing the Good News of Christ to them,), etc., etc.
Donald Miller tells how he and some friends did that at Reed College in Portland and soon folks were lined up outside in long lines to hear the Christians confessing to them.
Miller tells how for some of those folks, considering Christ as humanity's Savior was something they did for the first time in their lives.
Maybe we should go to Rio next year!!!
.... Or anywhere, really.
('Course those retreats were good, too. -- I don't mean to discount them. )
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