JESUS YOUTH:Being normal, ordinary and simple – with a difference
In our early days of the Renewal, often during leadership formation programs there would be a session called ‘the Normal Christian Life’. I don’t know if the phrase came from the book of the same name by the famous Chinese author Watchman Nee. Another amusing thing was that in those days, many people had the notion that a Renewal experience could upset the mental balance of some who were involved. Was the above mentioned session an attempt to clarify that the lifestyle we were trying to introduce in this radically new spirituality was indeed just true traditional Christianity?
On another note, in many of our early Jesus Youth informal gatherings we used to discuss the importance of an ordinary and simple Christian life. All around us we see attempts to be extraordinary.
The world in general, and at times even spirituality becomes so much showy and impressive – but here is a path where we opt to be simple and walking the way of the ordinary, but with a smile and a little fire inside. This ideal of becoming like all others, especially the ordinary ones around us, has a special place in Jesus Youth movement.
But isn’t this the true Christianity? Jesus could boldly say, ‘Come to me . . . I am gentle and lowly in heart’, Mary exclaimed ‘God has been mindful of the humble state of his servant’ and St Francis positively opted to give up external magnificence of all kinds choosing to be poor and simple. In many of our discussions during the early days of the movement, this challenge of becoming normal and ordinary assumed special significance.