This past week, Sarah and I headed to New Mexico and Colorado for vacation. We climbed a couple mountains and got to visit with Sarah's parents who co-pastor a Disciples church in Albuquerque. We actually got to worship with them on Sunday, which was a huge treat because Sarah and I never get to just attend church together.
While we were in Colorado, we stopped by an incredible book store in Denver called the Tattered Cover. If you are ever in Denver, you need to check this place out! I picked up a book there called The New Monasticism by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, who is an associate pastor at St. John's Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina and a leader within the New Monasticism movement. I've only read the first chapter so far, and already he is controversial but challenging at the same time. His thesis that it is hard to be a Christian in America rings true in my ears. I leave you with a quote from his introductory chapter:
"The sign that marks the life of the church in the world is God's victory over death through death - the ultimate winning by losing. Any church that remembers its identity in the transition from Good Friday to Easter morning has reason to hope, even in the darkest night. Yes, it's hard to be a Christian in America. Indeed, the church we know is fraught with contradictions. But God is able to restore life, giving warmth to limbs that were frozen in death. Even if the church is the dead and broken body of Christ, God can resurrect it."