Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
“A community cannot remain static. It is not an end in itself. It is like a fire which must spread even at the risk of burning out.
A moment comes when a community can only grow through separation, sacrifice and gift. The more it finds unity, the more it must be prepared in some sense to lose it, through the free gift of some of its members who will create other networks of love and communities of peace.
That is the meaning of life. Life reproduces itself. Growth means the appearance of flowers and fruits, which carry the seeds of new life. A community which jealously keeps its members to itself and doesn’t take chances in this extraordinary work of procreation is running a far greater risk: the risk of withering away. If the corner isn’t turned, if the evolution of a community towards greater giving is not encouraged, its members will become infantile, close to regression. They will become sterile and life will not flow through them. Like dead branches, they will be good only for the fire.
So many communities are dead because the people who carry responsibility in them have not known how to encourage their young members to give life in the procreation of new communities. The time of love has passed and they have come to a stage of sterility and frustration. It will then be hard to refind the forces of love and life.”
– Jean Vanier, Community and Growth
Michael Frost told a story of one megachurch that padded out a team with millions of dollars and sent them to a slum in India. The team flew over and swept in triumphantly, gathering the residents to tell them the glad tidings of their arrival and what they were planning to do.
Let me tell you a short true story.
Once upon a time waaaay back in the late 60s the Holy Spirit turned up at a normal Baptist chapel in the sleepy English countryside. Things started kicking off big-time. Soon many of the hairy hippy freaks from round about came by the bike/car/busload to see what the fuss was all about. This caught the attention of some straight-laced Christians looking for something more than their stuffy straight-lacedness.