On Wednesday, Kleipot will have a meeting to discuss our life together (please pray for us). I’m reading through Jean Vanier’s book and I’m feeling the book’s stretch on my heart, mind and spirit. Kleipot strated as a church plant in the late part of 2003 and now we’re into the grind of being a community – the called out people of God – called out for intimacy and mission.
I venture to say that pastors (of which I am one) always struggle with issues of ego. Our culture feeds well into this desire of ours; just walk to the local bookstrore and you’ll find a plethora of books written in the ‘name of Jesus’ to encourage and refine this deadly sin. How to leave YOUR legacy; promote YOUR vision; live YOUR PURPOSE. Not so with Vanier’s book, I’ll quote a lenghty piece and would love to hear your thoughts!
quite easy to found a community. There are always plenty of courageous people
who want to be heroes, are ready to sleep on the floor, to work hard hours each
day, to live in dilapidated houses. It’s not hard to camp – anyone can rough it
for a time. So the problem is not in getting the community started — there’s
always enough energy for take-off. The problem comes when we are in orbit and
going around and round the same circuit. The problem is in living with brothers
and sisters whom we have not chosen but who have been given to us, and in
working ever more truthfully towards the goals of the community.A community
which is just an explosion of heroism is not a true community. True community
implies a way of life; a way of living and seeing reality; it implies above all
fidelity in the daily round. And this is made up of simple things — getting
meals, using and washing the dishes and using them again, going to meetings – as
well as gift, joy and celebration; and it is made up of forgiving seventy times
is only being created when its members accept that they are not going to achieve
great things, that they are not going to be heroes, but simply live each day
with new hope, like children in wonderment as the sun rises and in thanksgiving
as it sets. Community is only being created when they have recognized the
greatness of humanity lies in the acceptance of our insignificance, our human
condition and out earth, and to thank God for having put in a finite body the
seeds of eternity which are visible in small daily gestures of love and
forgiveness. The beauty of people is in this fidelity to the wonder of each day."
(Jean Vanier, Community & Growth, Paris:1989, pg. 108-109)