the vision (Pete Greig)

This comes from the book ‘Red moon rising’ by Pete Greig. I really like the 24-7 prayer movement and their of ‘new monasticism’.  I’ve been thinking lately about my pentecostel roots, new Movements of the Spirit, and the connection with the Whole of the Big Tradition of Christianity.  I think we need both, and that’s what I like about this kind of movements. The 24-7 prayer movement is rooted in the hernhutters, but also draws inspiration sometimes from monastic traditions far from protestantism.  Something I like and something I think we need. More and more I really believe that we are one Church, and that Jesus will come back for a bride and not a harem.

a vision like this one thus will only be a temporary expression in a certain time and space; but there’s something in it that point to the ageless and trancending plan of God, and the Kingdom Jesus established!

So this guy comes up to me and says “what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?” I open my mouth and words come out like this…
The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.
They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.
What is the vision ?
The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers

choose to loose
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive


On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,

they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.
Don’t you hear them coming?
Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon.
How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ Himself. And He is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

What do you people think of this vision? Some things make me ask questions, others seem like a calling for specific people, not the whole church.

But overall it has something that makes me long for more of the Kongdom of God. Much more. And less of the distractions of this world, mammon and consumption…



3 responses to “the vision (Pete Greig)

  1. Every time I read this vision it stirs me. There is just something about it that makes you want to get up, throw off the materialism, the evil of this world and follow Jesus with everything.

    Too my it is not a calling for specific people – but for the whole church – it is a call of a new generation of Jesus followers who are not stuck in a box. They can “eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday” because their focus in on Jesus and not social pretense. In other words, they are equally comfortable hanging out with and talking about Jesus with both the rich and the poor.

    Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

    It is a call to the church to stop being luck-warm. To stop living a Sunday only live – it is a call to stop being caged in by jobs, by advertisers, by peer-pressure – a call to life a life 100% dedicated to Jesus. To go where He goes, to love whom He loves and to sin and evil like He did and is.

    Yeah, it is a call to everyone – only some for ignore it; some will dismiss it as someone else job; some will read it, do and then forget about it; but some, yes, some, will walk the path least traveled. May we be part of that few for they will see Jesus like no one else.

  2. I was more thinking about details like “They are mobile like the wind”, which to me clearly is an example of something that is a personal calling but not for everyone. Some people are called to be mobile, others to be stable and remain an anchor to a community all of their life. (I still want to read ‘the wisdom of stability’ by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove on that) The church needs both.

    But the overall idea of the text is indeed a description of how a Christian life (or the life of a Christian community) should be in contemporary relevant pictures, I agree on that. And inspiring it is!

  3. hmm.. I guess I can see that reading of it… to me that part was speaking against the tendency to pick an address and stay there no matter what. The church is to follow the ‘wind’ (i.e. the Holy Spirit) were ever He goes – going where He says to go, stopping when He stops, and staying where He says to stay. It is not so much against staying in a community as being willing to move if Jesus said to move (“write their addresses in pencil”).

    Over the years I have met people who refuse to follow the leading of Jesus simply because they don’t want to move locations (their addresses are written in stones). Others, like myself, are willing to move and float free – yet God has told us to stop and put down roots in the communities were we live. Even so, our lives do not belong to that address, but “to the nations.” We first and foremost belong to God and then to the address/nation we physical live at.

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