Thursday, June 5, 2008

Practice Resurrection

By LeeAnne Beres

These are the last words of Wendell Berry’s famous poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, a poem that never fails to stir my soul. Berry challenges us to “every day do something that won't compute” – to embrace with joy all that makes us truly human, truly children of God. Resurrection is the great gift and hope of being Christian, and to practice it daily takes courage, faith, and most of all, practice.

To practice resurrection is a challenge, and to be successful we have to work at it over and over again. Like learning to ride a bike, play the piano, or sort out our recycling, garbage, and compost, we need to consciously choose to put time and effort into living into the promise of a risen Lord. This is why we need church – we need a faith community to support and nurture us as we try, fail, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again. The process and path is as important as the goal. So my friends, thank you for being part of the Earth Ministry community. Together we will continue to practice resurrection, and plant sequoias.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

…So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.

Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.

Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace the flag.

Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.

Give your approval to all you cannot understand.

Praise ignorance,

for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.

Invest in the millennium.

Plant sequoias.

Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,

that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.

Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees

every thousand years.

Listen to carrion--put your ear close,

and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.

Expect the end of the world.

Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.

Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.

So long as women do not go cheap for power,

please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child?

Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.

Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap.

Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions

of your mind, lose it.

Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.

Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,

some in the wrong direction.

Practice resurrection.

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