Tag Archive: commitments

Welcome, we acknowledge that we gather on the land of which the people of the Kulin Nations have been custodians since time immemorial.

This is our second in a series called The Art of Discipleship where we showcase the material of different books and engage with their material creatively.


The activity this week is taken from:

Christi-Anarchy: Discovering a Radical Spirituality of Compassion and you can read a little more about it here from the first time I read it if you’re interested.

This book by Dave Andrews goes into the fact that Jesus Christ preached a gospel of love and peace with justice but the history of the Christian religion is littered with every kind of evil – What went wrong?

Mediation:  Dave Andrews poem speaks to Jesus’ compassion, his hunger for justice,  and desire to work with marginal groups for real transformation in our world – inviting us to live this way too through the eyes of the disciple Peter.

The prologue of Christi-Anarchy: Discovering A Radical Spirituality Of Compassion retells Dave’s unfortunate history of being kicked out of YWAM many years ago.  This lays the foundation for the rest of the book – a grave injustice done in the name of Christ. At micro and macro levels…

The very first chapter of Dave Andrews book is called:

A History of Christianity: A History of Cruelty

And it’s broken down into 4 areas:

-Councils, Creeds & Coercian: ca. AD 100-500
-Emperors, Popes & Power: ca. AD 500-1000
-Crusades, Inquisitions & Control: ca. AD 1000-1500
-Worldwide Evangelism, Witch Hunts & Genocide: ca. 1500-2000

So you can see how this is not an easy read – to really ‘look’ at the history of the church (our church) and to try and grapple with how this relates to our own understanding of who Jesus was and the way that he lived.

What I’m hoping to create tonight is a bit of a meditation space reflecting on Dave Andrews words speaking to Jesus’ compassion, and his hunger for justice, his desire to work with marginal groups for real transformation in our world and inviting us to live this way too through the eyes of the disciple Peter – speaking into the disillusionment or cynicism we might sometimes feel towards our own church/discipleship movement.

To give you a bit of an overview about where this is going – you will want to make yourselves comfortable because I’m basically going to try and read this like a play/well… a monologue… and it’s going to take about 20 minutes – I’m going to make the room dark because I want you to try and  visualise the scene  and put yourself in  Peter’s shoes.  I’ll leave things dark and quiet for a few minutes while people reflect and then bring us back together for sharing/prayer…


So, from the macro to the micro for Peter to set the scene and condense the bible into a paragraph… we know from the oral history passed down and recorded that the people of God were slaves under Pharoah, led across the Red Sea to freedom, wanderers in the desert and led across the River Jordan into the Promised Land – Jerusalem, they finally have their own sovereignty: a line of Kings: Joshua, Saul, David, and Solomon … who turns from God’s ways and the city is destroyed in Chronicles, rebuilt in Ezra,  and restored in Isaiah then a series of prophets come… the day is coming when Israel will be judged for its sins, prophesies of the birth of one to come… after Babylonion captivity, they are under the domination of Persia…IMG_5065

We fast forward 400 years between the
Old Testament and the new – and Rome is now the dominant power… Herod the “great” is slaughtering male children, under a star somewhere in Bethlehem a child is born, in a dark and troubled place…

Jesus is born – the next great political leader, descending of Kings, fulfilling the prophecies –  who would lead the uprising to free the people from Roman oppression and win back the independence of the Jews!!  Jesus says “Truly, this very night, before the rooster crows you will deny me 3 times” and Peter responds, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” And all the disciples agreed.

Except that Jesus didn’t really behave the way people expected… didn’t lead the way we expected, fight the way we expected… died when we didn’t expect it

Arrested, disgraced and denied three times… Peter broke down and wept.

(here follows the reading of the poem, n.b. not complete in these images)





Reflection questions:

  • what thoughts/feelings are arising?
  • …since I read this on the internet it must be true: Palestine is the most fought-over country in the world, and Jerusalem is the most captured city in all history. It has been pillaged, ravished, burned and destroyed more than 27 times in its history… paradox of peace and conflict in this area…
  • What is Andrews’ Jesus role modelling here around community conflict? (e.g. promises we make and can’t keep) what pathways back to wholeness are role modelled here? (e.g. be honest with one another, share meals, communicate openly…)  What can you honestly and openly offer? What are our experiences of where this has worked/not worked well?

Time of prayer for ourselves and others.



Reflections on “Making Space” – Pohl


  •  Keeping them
  • When to release others/ourselves
  • If viewed with scepticism then empty

Important to follow through on commitments that have been made – big or small – be explicit.

The practice of patience and accompaniment – what is the bigger picture we are all called to?

Commit to a slow process and working it out together.

Vanier – more I live in community life, most problems are never resolved but with time and listening stop being a problem… but there’s always another problem.

Listen. See it out in the open àlooks different.

Truth-teller to yourself – ask others to do that. What is the agenda? Is keeping the promise for me or for you?

Miss the value of what is different when we try and colonise.

Ability to listen and be brave – Andreana’s blog

Dewey – all communities will fail if they don’t have a single missional purpose.


Some of my most painful experiences in community (and most powerful and transformative experiences of grace) have been in realising a need to release myself or others of a commitment we have made – can you think of examples of this in your own life? are there ways to learn to recognise this sooner, for ourselves and others , to work for “making space” before there is hurt or a sense betrayal?

 What is the bigger picture we are called to? This is to love each other well – and sometimes that means letting go. Keeping people bound to us by a promise when we should release them can be selfish or even abusive. Using language that assigns blame for break down in this scenario can add layers to that if a person feels guilt for ‘breaking’ a promise and how that affects others. If you release someone from a promise that has a completely different feeling than them ‘breaking’ the promise because they may be in a position where they feel they have no other choice. Ask them, what is the bigger picture they are being called to? It may not be leaving/breaking to go FROM something but to go TO something. Loving one another well is hearing that and supporting it to happen. How many relationships are ending in divorce because it’s so hard to negotiate loving one another well and keeping the larger picture we’re called to in view over resisting change that challenges our own point of view of how things should be. “Commit to a slow process, working it out together. Listen. See it out in the open – looks different.”


What does it mean to be a “truth-teller” to yourself? ‘I am a good person.’ Is that true?

‘I am a generous person’

‘I am a selfish person’

‘I am a good friend’

Pick a statement, one of these or your own, and spend 3-5 mins writing or thinking about the answer. Argue it. Then take the opposing statement ‘I am NOT a good person’ and argue that. Is it black and white? How much does family of origin factor in to some of your practices and responses? Expectations of others and yourself?

Is keeping the promise for me or for you? Think about this in light of the above because our motivations aren’t always clear, to ourselves let alone others.

 You are you and I am me. I cannot expect, and should not try to change, you to respond in a scenario the way that I would myself. My way is not the right way it is just ‘my’ way. Try saying that aloud a few times “My way is not the right way…”