Hello dear Bookclub members!
The time has finally come to begin our first bookclub reading – Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted.
I hope everyone has secured a copy of the book and is as ready to embark on this adventure as I am – if not, you still have time, but…spit spot! Shoo – go get your book. Right now. Godspeed.
I suppose there is no better way to begin than by using some of the words from Brandon and Jen Hatmaker themselves, taken from the Foreword and Introduction of the book.
In the foreword, Brandon says that “most of us look at change as a threat” as it “makes the consistent inconsistent” and “removes comfort”.
I am much inclined to agree. Life is kind of easy, isn’t it, when everything stays just so? We are lulled into a comfortable snooze when the rhythm of our days in unchanging. We go to church, we teach a class, we go home, we buy groceries, we watch television after putting the children to bed, we go out to eat a couple of times a week, we celebrate a holiday, we recover from the holiday, we celebrate the next holiday…
And so on and so forth until something unexpected happens. It could be a tragedy that turns our world on end, it could be a change in occupation that upsets our balance, it could be a sickness, a church split, a graduation, a marriage, a pregnancy…
Good or bad, change is always on the horizon whether we accept it with open arms or lock our doors from its presence.
But Brandon goes on to say that “the good news is that God can be found right in the middle of it as well. God does not change, but He uses change — to change us. He sends us on journeys that bring us to the end of ourselves. We often feel out of control, yet if we embrace His leading, we may find ourselves on the ride of our lives.”
And that’s what I love so much about this book. It does not document the kind of change that leaves a mother bereft or a family torn apart; rather, it tells the story of the best kind of change that can happen, a change that takes place when God condescends to wake His children up from their slumber, when He reveals the nakedness of the pious and tells them where to find real clothes, when He has mercy on a church that has been asleep but didn’t even know it. This is the story of Brandon and Jen Hatmaker’s life interruption, but it is a story that our Maker is telling nationwide:
“There is a change happening in our generation marked by a shift in thinking, a shift central to the missional church.”
I have felt this shift, long before I heard of the Hatmakers, which tells me that God is indeed working in our nation, all the way down to Mrs. Gore of Main Street, Oklahoma. Might a widespread revival of old be in our future? Is the Spirit of God really being so kind to pull us from the mediocrity of a comfortable and consumer-driven existence?
Hasten, Lord. (But be gentle, please. You are dealing with the biggest babies in the history of the earth. Especially the boss of this bookclub).
Brandon wraps up his foreword with this: “Our hope is that through our story, you might identify where God is leading you, that you might read something that helps you overcome what is holding you back, and that you might receive permission to chase after it.”
That’s my hope, too, that as we read this book together, we might feel those shackles begin to fall off. I was lying in bed the other night, trying to take in all the things God is doing in my heart and reforming in my mind, and I kid you not, it took everything I had to lie still and go to sleep. I wanted to hop up and run or write or pray or call somebody or something. I was so excited. And it made me think that finally, 20-something years after I “walked the aisle” I might be at the starting line of this race that God has so graciously called me to. I think I’m finally ready to run, bookclub.
Sort of. (What? Running scares the bojangles out of me. I’ve been on the couch for a long time, eating potato chips and potluck leftovers).
I’ll end with these words from Jen in the book’s introduction: “…if you’re navigating the tension between your Bible and your life, or Jesus’ ancient ideas and the modern wayward church, or God’s kingdom on earth and reality, then welcome…I may not offer resolution, but I will humbly and gratefully enter the conversation with you. If you have looked at the church at large, the current presentation of “a good, obedient life,” or the Christian effect on culture and asked, ‘Is this all there is?’ then you’re in the right place.”
I’ve gotta say…I think this is one change that we don’t want to miss.
Glad you’re along for the ride.
This week, please read the Foreword, the Introduction and the section titled “Winter 2007” (ending on p. 43).
Questions for thought or discussion:
Have you felt this shift in our generation, an awakening to our sin and a call to mission?
Has the modern-day church caused you to ask the question Jen poses: “Is this all there is?”
Do you feel any trepidation about what lies ahead for your church or for yourself?
~ mull it over or share below ~