This week, the so-called "organic church" movement was just called out to deal with it's own inevitable mortality. Mark Galli wants the radicals to come home and help keep the institution fertile. Neil Cole hopes that when we die out we'll leave an example for others. I say, let's do better than that. Let's embrace the importance of death, in the cycle of life. I say, let's figure out how to deliberately compost ourselves.
The challenge, you see, is sustainability. Human systems last a long time mainly by suppressing the human element that challenges established traditions, but that same human element also provides authenticity and vitality. Thus, the best way to survive for a long time is to be nearly dead. Nature, naturally, sustains itself quite differently.
Most trees in winter appear to be dead, but their vibrancy is merely dormant. Attack birds that carve holes into evergreens also protect them from damaging insects. There are caves in the amazon so deep, the primary foodsource for their subterranean organisms is guano. A more familiar example, but never less shocking, is to remember all grains of wheat must die, or else remain alone.
Dear saints, our Lord is both Life and Resurrection. At his eternal throne, there is no death. Here and now, at his footstool, we daily die. Observing that contrast, it seems that choosing institutional christendom may be a matter of confusing two realms. We are not called to make Earth more like Heaven. We are called to bear Heaven within earthen vessels. Crappy, messy, natural, organic, problematic - and yet increasingly holy - vessels.