This is the first time reading a Nouwen book. I read a few of his devotion books in the past, didn’t really like it much may be because it is Chinese translated, the essence of the writing lost through the translation.
Rev. Ma references thisThis is the first time reading a Nouwen book. I read a few of his devotion books in the past, didn’t really like it much may be because it is Chinese translated, the essence of the writing lost through the translation.
Rev. Ma references this book of Nouwen in his class. Out of my curiosity and ‘read-aholic’ addiction, I ordered this and a few other books of his, plus one book from my long time favorite author, Nicole Johnson. Once I picked up “In the Name of Jesus”, I can’t stop but finished it in a day, even I have 3 other assigned books to be read to fulfill my ministry and course obligation.
Here are some excerpts from the books which draw to me new perspectives on leadership, Christian service and spirituality…
From Relevance to Prayer --
“… Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self.”
“… The leaders of the future will be those who dare to claim their irrelevance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation that allows them to enter into a deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success, and to bring the light of Jesus there.”
“A mystic is a person whose identity is deeply rooted in God’s first love… it is the discipline of dwelling in the presence of the One who keeps asking us, “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?” This is the discipline of contemplative prayer.”
From Popularity to Ministry –
“… He wants Peter to feed his sheep and care for the, not as “professionals” who know their client’s problems and take care of the, but as vulnerable brothers and sisters who know and are known, who forgive and are being forgiven, who love and are being loved.”
“Laying down your life means making your own faith and doubt, hope and despair, joy and sadness, courage and fear available to others as ways of getting to touch with the Lord of life.”
and this is my favorite one…
“The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God.”
From Leading to Being Led --
“… getting in touch with the mystery of leadership for a large part, means to be led.”
“What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? May be it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.”
“The world says, “when you were young you were dependent and could not go where you wanted, but when you grow old you will be able to make your own decisions, go your own way, and control your own destiny.” But Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go.” (In light of the passage where Jesus said to Peter, “when you were young you put on your belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands and somebody else will put a belt around you and take you where you would rather not go.” John21:18)
“Powerlessness and humility in the spiritual life do not refer to people who have no spine and who let everyone else make decisions for them. They refer to people who are so deeply in love with Jesus that they are ready to follow him wherever he guides them, always trusting that, with him, they will find life and find it abundantly.”
“… since God’s presence is often a hidden presence, a presence that needs to be discovered. The loud, boisterous noises of the world make us deaf to the soft, gentle, and loving voice of God. A Christian leader is called to help people to hear that voice and so be comforted and consoled.”