Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Imitation of Christ

Lest we all think the book meme taggy thing is just an excercise in complete uselessness, it has inspired me to engage Thomas a Kempis' classic, *The Imitation of Christ.* I have been meaning to read this book for a while, and now seems like a providential moment to begin. Let me explain.

Our youth are going through series this spring called, "The Way." We are looking at what it really means to follow Christ, to enter into his way of living in world. It has been a convicting beginning for me, recognizing that I often fall woefully short in my own life of living in the Jesus Way. To then challenge our youth community to do so, and invite them in on that journey, well let's just say I had better be journeying myself. I think this book could serve as a beginning point everyday for listening afresh to the call of Christ.

Secondly, I have been seeking to live a more intentional life, in my own spiritual formation and in how I engage people. I have taken to do most of my work beyond my office, in coffee shops for the intention of being known and getting to know our community. Amy and I have invited a college student (and my wonderful JH director) to live with us, not as a favor but because we value sharing our lives with other people. Part of this little experiment includes creating an intentionally communional (a word coined by Mark Ostreicher at Youth Specialties...I love it) environment and life. We are all getting up together to begin our mornings in prayer together, followed by breakfast together. We have opted (most nights) to shut off the television and engage one another in life, conversation, and laughter. We have spent most evenings bringing others into our little community, and it has been wonderful. Part of this intentionality for me includes devoting more set aside time to spiritual practices, hence the morning prayer and breakfast. I want to bring Thomas a Kempis into this.

Since I have fallen pretty far short on virtually every series I've endeavored to start here on this blog, I'm only going to say this. My hope is to read just a short paragraph everyday (Thomas breaks each chapter into two or three short paragraphs) and offer a short reflection on each one. If I miss a day on the blog, that may mean that I missed a day myself, or it might just mean that I didn't have a chance to post. However, I'd like to invite you all into my conversation with Thomas.

Finally, I'll also be posting some of my reflections on our youth blog at church. My hope is that students will be intrigued and maybe even inspired to take a peek at The Imitation of Christ themselves. Would you care to join me? I'll be starting Monday, January 21. Anyone?


At 9:37 AM , Blogger Don said...

I just caught up with you, and am intrigued to read what you've been up to in the past couple weeks...


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