Church life in America, borrowing from the culture around it, heavily emphasizes the new. The weight of history has no weight.
But Christianity is a historical religion; it is about God's faithful saving action in history, through Jesus Christ and his people. We can and must learn from the great Christian movements of the past. To borrow Leonard Sweet's image of the porch swing, we must lean back in order to move forward.
In the next few blog posts I will trace connections between monastic spirituality and our own present-day context. I will be observing both differences and similarities, and proposing ways in which these ancient voices can be a resource for today, particularly for churches or individuals that are part of the emerging/missional church conversation.
I will focus especially on three areas of monasticism: emphasis on the Eucharist, commitment to living in community and simplicity, and the Jesus Prayer.
Up next: Eucharist.