Ireland Update

I’m so sorry I’ve had such little time for updates this trip. I’m exhausted with all the running around we’re doing and the people we’ve met. But it has been FABULOUS! The people here are amazing and have taken to Sara and me as if we were long, lost friends having returned home. What an absolute joy. And amazingly enough the weather here has been superb. I’ve gotten a chance to play two rounds of golf during my stay and we’re headed out this morning to a men’s tournament with a bunch of the brothers around here. (Sorry, gals, none of the wives here seem to play golf!)

Anyway, a couple of days ago I recorded an interview with two of the brothers here who were involved in this group of folks dismantling their institution 25 years ago to learn to live as a community of God’s people in the Dublin area. We’ll use it on a future edition fo The God Journey. It’s fabulous. When we were talking about some of those things later in the day, one of the wives said how blessed she has been that all the relationships from those days have grown on over the years with such beauty, depth and grace. She wondered if they hadn’t laid it all down when Father asked them to if they would have the same relationships today. Wouldn’t it have been easier for them to end up in conflict over how things should be run, who should be in charge, and what they should be doing.

That got me thinking. Maybe that’s what happened back at the congregation I was with 15 years ago. I see now how God may have been asking us all to lay it down and walk away and if we had all those relationships wouldn’t have gotten shattered by the agendas of men. Hmmmm…. Some of us did walk away rather than fight those who wanted to take possession of God’s working, but if we all had, I think what she said would have been true. If our participation in the resurrection life of Jesus is found in our own willingness to lay our lives down when he asks, why wouldn’t there be a corporate expression of that? There are times when God does wonderful things among us and if we could just enjoy them for what they are instead of turning them into institutions, maybe our relationships wouldn’t get broken, maybe the kingdom would grow freely in the world, and maybe we would really see the living expression of his family in the world.

I’m sure you can’t ‘lay it down’ too often in this world. What we grasp for, we lose. What we give up we seem to be able to enjoy without being owned by it.

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2 Comments
  1. Fred Vonk April 16, 2006 at 1:39 am

    I and my wife just walked away from something that started to become an institutional (house)church again. We thought(4 years ago) we had found the way of how to be a church, a community, outside of the so called institutional church. When you try to lay hold on His life in a fleshly manner and you try to catch it in a new method, the wineskin cracks and the life pours away. More and more I get an understanding of what Jesus ment by loosing everything in order to gain His life. We did not receive His life so we can control it by our own good intended means. It is a fight with the flesh to lay it down, I think. I’m glad the victory is a Man.

    Fred,
    Holland

  2. Fred Vonk April 16, 2006 at 4:39 am

    I and my wife just walked away from something that started to become an institutional (house)church again. We thought(4 years ago) we had found the way of how to be a church, a community, outside of the so called institutional church. When you try to lay hold on His life in a fleshly manner and you try to catch it in a new method, the wineskin cracks and the life pours away. More and more I get an understanding of what Jesus ment by loosing everything in order to gain His life. We did not receive His life so we can control it by our own good intended means. It is a fight with the flesh to lay it down, I think. I’m glad the victory is a Man.

    Fred,
    Holland

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