Lights of Home: Ethos Matters

Rev. Adam shares some thoughts on our next sermon series - in our new location! 11am at 5803 NE Alameda


These days it feels like we live in a post-truth world. 

What’s real? What’s fake? What’s news? What’s just madness?


The integral theorist Ken Wilber says in his book Trump and a Post-Truth World that we live in an age of “aperspectival madness.”


I mean - how many days this past year have you heard terms like “fake news” and “my truth?”


We do have to fact check our sources. And we all have a journey, we all have our own perspective to share - but so many of us are walking around looking for some guiding lights, some principles, some beliefs to hang our hat on.


At Christ Church we get asked a bunch: “What do you believe?”


I guess I’m not so much concerned about doctrinal debates and thought leaders. I’m interested in life. In action. In the really real.


I was thinking about these big ideas in May when I got to see U2’s Experience and Innocence Tour. Near the start of the show the band plays their new song “Lights of Home.” It’s a heavy one yet filled with hope.


U2 performing "Lights of Home" May 16, 2018 at the Forum in Los Angeles. Photo by Justin Kent

U2 performing "Lights of Home" May 16, 2018 at the Forum in Los Angeles. Photo by Justin Kent

In our house we love this song for it’s chorus: “Hey! Do you know my name?!” Our baby boy Des has basically been making this “hey” sound as one of his first utterances for the past six months and we sing this song back to him many mornings as a sort of prayer. 


And it’s a prayer because the singer starts with a near-death type experience. One of those moments where one gets to re-evaluate the things that truly matter in life. And what might be the bedrock guiding principles to get you through the journey?


The show spectacularly portrayed this hero’s journey we each get to go on as Bono walked a suspended ramp being guided home by light while the band played below.


I think this is a moment for many, if not all of us, to have a reappraisal of what truly matters. What do we believe in? How might we live? And how might we stay on the path along the twists and turns, triumphs and setbacks on life’s way?


Many of us are wondering what we really must believe in to get there. 


But I think it’s not so much about doctrinal debates by thought leaders - it’s about embodiment, life and action.


A number of years back by a rice paddy in Thailand I heard what just might be the secret of the universe. 


Five words:








I first heard these words as a shared ethos by Steve Chalke - who’s become a friend and mentor. Along with Jill Rowe and the team at Oasis, I’ve spent the last few years diving deep into what Christ-centered community might look like for the 21st century and the road ahead. And I’m convinced that it’s about an embodied ethos which I think just might help save us. When we feel lost these five words just might guide us back.


These might be the lights of home many of us have been looking for.


So we’ll be talking about a shared ethos for the next five weeks at Christ Church - and the kind of community we’re building together. It’s certainly about social justice and seeking the kind of world we dream is possible - but it’s also, maybe more importantly, about the small secret rhythms in each of our hearts. I think these five words help us walk the right path for ourselves, with our neighbors, and in the world to come.


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