A few weeks ago, I logged onto Facebook the same second Jen Hatmaker posted about giving away advanced copies of her book, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity, to people willing to read and write about it. You should know this about me: if I could be a person it would a combination of Tammy Taylor and Jen Hatmaker. [I know, right? Holy perfection.] So, I emailed the publishers immediately because duh. Let’s be clear, I follow her on Facebook, I read her blog, and I really loved her IF:Gathering talk, but I have never felt the desire to read any of her books. Not the one time. No offense, JH.
I did not really want to read this one to be totally honest. In my mind my life has already been sufficiently wrecked by my main man Jesus. [All I have to say about thinking that is GROSS.] However, this book is good, y’all. Really good. I described it to my husband as a Love Does but with scriptural backup and a church model. I want you to read it. Then I want you to talk about it with me.
Without telling you all the things [because I really do want you to read it yourself], Interrupted is the story of how Jesus turned Jen and her family’s life upside down and essentially wrecked it for the kingdom. It’s the story of living at the bottom so Jesus can teach you a thing or two about himself. It’s the story of taking Jesus seriously, like everything he says. It’s the story of going where God calls you, even when it sucks and you have no clue where you’re headed. It’s the story of a new way of living that reeks of Jesus. Ultimately it’s the story of a new way of doing church, that also reeks of Jesus.
If you really don’t like church (also insert frustrated with, over it, think it’s the dumbest thing on the planet Earth)
If you feel like the church [Christians] is/are missing the point
If you feel tension about all of the things
If you’re comfortable with the church [Christians]
If you love church [Christians] with all of your being
If you feel like the church [Christians] is/are nailing it
I recommend this book.
This book was a breath of fresh air to me. It made me long for something new, something different, something more for the church. It put words to my frustrations and the tension I so often feel between church, Christians, and Jesus. It also gave me hope that the church, Christians, can be good. Really good.
This book is a call to something bigger. It’s a call to daily live like the Jesus we all claim in our hearts. It’s a rally cry for the church, for Christians, to live on mission. It’s a wake up call. It’s a challenge for the church to be more about knowing their communities than they are about programs, Sunday services, and social media. It’s an invitation to get off your high horse, get over yourself, and run to the bottom because the bottom is where Jesus is. The bottom is where the work is being done. Kingdom work.
I’ll leave you with just one of my favorite quotes from Interrupted:
This is what God taught me through Judas at Jesus’ table, eating the broken bread that was His body: We don’t get to opt out of living on mission because we might not be appreciated. We’re not allowed to neglect the oppressed because we have reservations about their discernment. We cannot deny love because it might be despised or misunderstood. We can’t withhold social relief because we’re not convinced it will be perfectly managed. We can’t project our advantaged perspective onto struggling people and expect results available only to the privileged. Must we be wise? Absolutely. But doing nothing is a blatant sin of omission. Turning a blind eye to the bottom on the grounds of “unworthiness” is the antithesis of Jesus’ entire mission. How dare we? Most of us know nothing, nothing of the struggles of the poor. We erroneously think ourselves superior, and it is a wonder God would use us at all to minister to His beloved…. Our holy Savior advised us well: humans must treat the wheat and weeds the same. We are only qualified to administer mercy, not judgement, because we will pull up many a beautiful stalk of wheat, imagining him a weed.
Yes and amen. Right?