I was a rule-player. Everything was either right or wrong with no shades of gray. I like to think I’ve mellowed, but I’ve actually grown up to the realization that there is often more than one way of looking at things. It’s not that I compromise my values, but instead I try to look through another’s eyes to feel what they feel. It is how we learn, not by looking through the same glasses over and over again, but reaching out to the mysteries in life for which there are no tangible answers.
I’ve just started to study the Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. This religious order was the first stable religious community of men established in the Anglican Church after the Reformation. The U.S. community was founded in Cambridge, MA in 1870. The SSJE Rule was originally written in 1866 and updated in 1996 to be thoroughly theological but very precise in spelling out the practices for which they hold each other accountable.
For the next six months, I’ll be exploring the forty-nine facets of the Rule to determine if the rule will help me in confronting the internal and external pressures that cause me to avoid or neglect some aspect of my wholeness as a member of Christ. At the end of six months, if I am so called, I can make application to become a member of the Fellowship of St. John.
I’d like to share my journey with you; perhaps you will also want to investigate the Rule and we can explore together. Here are excerpts from Rule One: The Call of the Society:
“God chooses us from varied places and backgrounds to become a company of friends, spending our whole life abiding in him and giving ourselves up to the attraction of his glory.”
“Christ breathes his Spirit into us to be the one source of our own conversion and of our witness and mission to others; “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” We are sent to be servants of God’s children and ministers of the reconciliation which the Lamb of God has accomplished.”
“Though our gifts differ we share one call to be consecrated in truth, through the power of God’s word and the grace renewed by feeding on Christ and drinking his life-blood in the Eucharist. As a sign of our identity God gives us all an affinity with the witness of the beloved disciple embodied in the gospel of John.”
Will you walk with me on this journey?
Blessings, my friend,
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