A long absent student enters class, sits with quiet determination, tries not to be noticed, you call her by name. Survival is a story ancient as the stars: light out of darkness; a distant child returned. After one hundred days of exile may she know the promise of hope and walk peaceably from joy to joy to joy from blessing to blessing to fresh immeasurable blessing.
The Christian Life Community World Executive Council annual meeting was held in Rome for Easter week of April 2022. On the plane home to Australia, somewhere between India and Indonesia, I penned these words in a prayer of thanks for the experience.
I reverence you, Lord, for bringing me to meet these people, spread across the distant reaches of the earth, united together in Rome, that ancient and eternal city. You blessed me through each one, you called me to trust that you would move among us. In our meeting in these days I felt your light embrace us as at your Transfiguration. I wanted to build three tents and stay at the Monte Cucco retreat house, thinking “it is good for us to be here”.
By now your grace is more clear than ever, a comfort in time of darkness and at all times an encouragement to keep going along the path of witness. We want to “go forth”, Lord, so show us the way*. Fan into flame our kindling twigs, be for us our heart’s desire. Help us discern the hope of your way, your truth, your life.
Send us forth, giving glory to your name. Give us courage to walk this path united with each other in prayer and service. Lead us and love us as we tread each step along the road. Make yourself known at the breaking of the bread!
Your Spirit moved for us each day at Monte Cucco. Your words of eternal life accompanied us when we did not know where to go. You brought forth laughter and heartfelt joy over meals. This community, this world community of friends, finds its life in you, in your presence and action, in your peace.
So send us out now to the ends of the earth for our lives at home, work and play await us. Send us out, Lord, to seek and find you in the ordinary moments of life in the city. May the light we saw at Monte Cucco send us out rejoicing, embracing your mission of renewal in a wounded world.
The next CLC World Assembly will be held in Amiens, France, in August 2023
*This line reflects the grace we will pray for at the World Assembly in Amiens, France in August 2023. The Convocation Letter outlines the following:
The grace we shall ask for: Lord, help us to go forth; show us the way. The text from Scripture: “You will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) The theme of the 2023 Assembly: Discerning paths for hope