Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Why do I go to Quaker Meeting? I go to be transformed by God. Whether this language chimes with other Quakers or not, I hope no one expects to leave Meeting for Worship the same as when they arrive.
My desire is that everyday I will become a better follower of Jesus. This requires not only my own effort but also God’s grace. I meet with others to learn what committed discipleship looks like and witness how God’s grace is manifest in the lives of my fellow pilgrims. In a Quaker intentional community, I hope we would support each other on this step-by-step journey.
My friend Hannah pointed me to an article about Mark Boyle, a man prophetically living a life without money. Not only his words, but his very way of living presents us with a challenge. At the moment, I cannot imagine the giant leap that would be required for me to live in such a manner. I can, however, think of one small step I could take tomorrow to make my life less dependent on a capitalist economy, less damaging to the environment or more energy efficient. This idea of step-by-step transformation is encapsulated in the Transition Towns movement, communities gradually preparing themselves for a future without oil.
This weekend, the worldwide Christian family commemorates and celebrates the crucifixion and resurrection of their Good Shepherd, Jesus. The implications of this event aren’t felt in heaven alone. Aligning yourself with the crucified Christ has realm practical, social, political and economic implications for how you live your life. You’d think from some bishops’ words in the press this weekend that Jesus died for our right to accessorise. Thanks to Gerry for sending me these wise words of Clarence Jordan as an antidote: “The proof that God raised Jesus from the dead is not the empty tomb, but the full hearts of his transformed disciples. The crowning evidence that he lives is not a vacant grave, but a spirit-filled fellowship. Not a rolled-away stone, but a carried-away church.”
Easter is about transformation and transition. What small steps can we take tomorrow, both individually and as a community, to more deeply, widely and joyfully sow the seeds of God’s Kingdom?
I’ve been staying with my parents for the last few days. As often happens, my Dad and I will get into a loud debate about politics, and I found myself getting all preachy about how one of the best ways to tackle climate change as an individual is to become vegan. I’ve been vegetarian for around four years, always knowing that if I were to follow my reasons to their logical conclusion I should be vegan. Is now the time for me to become less of a hypocrite and embrace veganism? Can I envisage my life without yoghurt? Should I commit to it for a week or a day at first? The place to begin is to imagine how the next step will be different.
One more step along the world I go, one more step along the world I go; from the old things to the new keep me travelling along with you… Hymn by Sydney Carter, Quaker.