Beautiful does not always mean the big and the “spectacular.” Beauty is also found in the small and “insignificant” places that others might walk by and never notice.
Recently I was reading this blog post entitled “a letter from an exhausted/exasperated young person who has a complicated love/hate relationship with the church” by a blogger named Ron. As I was reading, I started thinking about the many people I’ve talked to and blogged with who have experienced similar frustrations to Ron. What hit me as I was reading is the the theme I hear again and again, which is people looking for authentic, genuine community. Ron speaking of his own generation put it this way:
…there are a couple things young people simply won’t tolerate. They will not put up with what they deem to be a lack of community and/or authenticity, and they will not abide anything that appears to simply be going through the motions or the semblance of just being part of some spiritual/religious club. They aren’t interested in towing the party line that has no bearing on their social and cultural experiences. And–most terrifying to previous generations–they aren’t threatened by threats of “It has to be this way or nothing at all.”
Because this is a generation of self-starters and micro-entrepreneurship. They have no problem whatsoever starting up their own things. And they have been. And they are. And they will continue to do so.
[Note: I encourage reading the entire blog here
This particular passage got me to thinking about a theme I’ve been ruminating on for some years, the whole idea of grassroots movements. The term grassroots
is a fascinating metaphor if one thinks about it. It is a picture of something working and spreading beneath the surface and below notice. We don’t need anyone’s permission to love one another, and we don’t have to have an established “institution” to create a place of community. Actually to be the Church
, it appears we only need two or three to gather in His name
, so there is no reason not to start a counter culture movement of love and community. In fact, it seems to me that a grassroots movement is already underway of people who have gotten worn out by dead religion, and want to really experience the kind of life that Jesus, Paul, James, Peter and others talked about.
So, let’s just do it! Let’s just decide that we are going to live this way even if we can only find one or two other people who want to live in authentic community with us (“two or three… in My name”). Not saying it will be easy, because learning to love isn’t as easy as we like to think (even our closest friends and loved ones do stupid things that make them hard to love at times, and, dare I say it… so do we). But that being said, and drawing on the same illustration as Ron did in his blog, we can decide to be Joshuas and Calebs, who saw the same giants that the other 10 spies saw
, and yet were able to believe that they could enter the Promised Land. We too have a Promised Land: a land described in John 15
, 1 Cor 13
, 1 John 2
, Hebrews 10:22-25
, John 17
, and many other places.
“We are surely able to take possession of it!”