Share Thou the Vision?
|by Catherine Larson|
Sometimes in our lives God captivates us with a glimpse, a vision of something, and try as we might, we can’t get it out of our heads. A few years ago I heard about the Clapham Circle for the first time. Here was a group of Christians who lived life together, who pooled their creative energies and by God’s strength and blessing literally changed the world in which they lived.
It started when a couple of cousins decided to live together. They started a holy bachelor pad that they lovingly called The Chummery. The Chummery was a place where they could encourage each other in their Christian calling. Pretty soon a few more moved to live in the same neighborhood. They prayed together, they ate together, and most of all they planned together—actions birthed out of their Christian convictions. They even called themselves “the Cabinet” and set aside a room for Cabinet meetings.
Each person brought his or her own talents to the mix. Among them was the second richest man in Europe at the time, one of the youngest Parliamentarians, a lawyer, a gifted playwright, a preacher or two, and others.
The more I read, the more I find out how this little band of merry men and women literally changed the world by putting their energies and talents together for God’s Kingdom.They started a missionary society, the Sunday School movement, projects to help the poor and imprisoned, and, oh yeah, by God's grace, they ended the slave trade in England.
I think the Clapham Saints, as they were called by their detractors, understood something. They understood that they were a part of something bigger than any one of them. They understood it wasn’t about credit or glory. It was about spending their handful of days with reckless abandon.
It makes me think: Doesn't it make sense that if God wanted to do something big in this day in which we live, that he'd be whispering it in the ears of many of his children, prompting them in their innermost spirits in similar ways? Doesn’t it make sense that many of us would hear and be moved to a mysterious rhythm that has our toe tappin'. That as we catch the wafting strains of his melody we'd be compelled off the sidelines and onto the floor. The question is whether we'll see ourselves as solo acts or whether we'll realize that we are a part of a well choreographed dance and lean into the motion, lock arms with others, interweave and twirl in the delight of synchronized conviviality. I'm dreaming about a day when more of us lock arms...
Will you share the vision? Will you dream with your friends and family and fellow Christians? Will you dream about making a big splash on this canvas we’ve been given? I hope so. I hope that after you read about these ordinary men and women who took their faith seriously and did something about it—together—I hope you won’t be able to get it out of your head either. I hope it will be like a good tune that got stuck. Hum it with me and join me on the floor.
(To read more about the Clapham Circle, read today's BreakPoint commentary.)