“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.
“Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity.
“Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.”
- The prayer of Sir Francis Drake, adventurer (1577)
This prayer, attributed to Sir Francis Drake, is found in the book, Joining Jesus on his Mission, How to be an Everyday Missionary by Greg Finke. It is a book that our vestry has read and discussed and one of the books on mission and discipleship that I read while on sabbatical leave. The prayer spoke to me, as I believe that too often we become ‘pleased with ourselves’ and complacent, that we ‘dream too little’ and ‘sail too close to the shore’. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are a people sent into the world to proclaim the love, mercy and justice of God as we have found it in Jesus Christ. That can be risky business, but it is our call.
Greg Finke brings this idea local and begins small. He asks us to explore what it means to be “neighborly” to those people with whom we interact at home, at work, and in our communities, extending ourselves to find out about them, be curious about their lives and responsive to what we believe God might be calling us to offer them. Finke asks “What would be good news to these people? What aspect of the gospel would bring some healing to their wounds and restoration to their lives?” We don’t have to have all the answers, but it helps to be asking the questions, to be aware that God is working in the world to set things right for each human being we encounter. Jesus does the hard work. We are only asked to “enjoy people; and seek, recognize and respond to what Jesus is already doing in the lives of the people we are enjoying”.
Hmmm….that doesn’t sound too hard, does it?? If this idea intrigues you and you would like to know more about joining God’s mission right here and right now, please speak with me. I would love to start a small group to begin to explore how we can join in with Jesus in this simple but profound way.
It’s good to be back, and I look forward to seeing you all in church and out and about very soon!