“The Benedictine renewal, the Franciscan movement, the Brethren of the Common Life, the Protestant Reformation, the Anabaptist community, the Methodist and evangelical revival, the Great Awakening, the Oxford movement, the Pentecostal revival. . . . Such [movements] are part of the long historical process of renewing faith. How would any religious tradition stay alive over hundreds or thousands of years if not for the questions of discontent and the creativity brought forth by longing?” Diana Butler Bass
“My friend Mary Rakow says, ‘The Church is always trying to come to us from the future.’ So, we need to allow it. Jesus lived, breathed, and embodied a boundary-subverting inclusion. If it’s inclusive, and wildly so, then you know you’re warm. You are close to it. Nothing is excluded except excluding. . . . The gospel always wants to dislodge itself from the places where it gets stuck and embedded in the narrow, cultural structure. So, we all take steps to free it, find our way, again and again, to an expansive tolerance and a high reverence for paradox. We need to allow the Church to become a movement again. Jesus says if you’re not gathering, you’re scattering [see Matthew 12:30]. We either pull people in or push people out. We attract in the same way Jesus did. . . . The disciples aren’t sent out to create an institution fortified by uniformity, just another tribe highly defended against all outside forces. Certainly, Western Christianity goofed some things up: it fostered separateness; it bet all its money on the “sin” horse; and it relied so heavily on external religious exercises. Clearly, we are being propelled into the world to cultivate a movement whose ventilating force is an extravagant tenderness. The disciples didn’t leave Jesus’ side with a fully memorized set of beliefs. Rather, theirs was a loving way of life that had become the air they breathed, anchored in contemplation and fully dedicated to kinship as its goal.” Gregory Boyle
“He who was seated on the throne said,
‘I am making everything new!’”
Revelation 21:5a NIV
Moving From Head to Heart
*Have you been assuming that reformation and renewal–like has happened in the past–will never again be needed in the church? Have you grown comfortable with, or addicted to, the status quo?
*Look around. Where does the gospel seem “stuck” these days? What’s getting in its way?
*How are you yourself doing when it comes to practicing expansive tolerance, reverence for paradox, and exquisite or extravagant tenderness?
Lord, as your people, lead us out of our “stuckness” into the looming newness you have for us.
For More: The Whole Language by Gregory Boyle
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