I pray that you would have a rich life of joy and power, abundant in supernatural results, with a constant, clear vision of never ending life in God’s world before you, and the everlasting significance of your work day by day. A radiant life and a radiant death. –Dallas Willard
The life Dallas describes in the prayer above is the one we desire—a life intentionally ordered to be fully present to Jesus, overflowing in tangible love toward friends, family, neighbors, and enemies.
But culture is disordered. Distraction and discouragement take their toll on our hearts. How do we let the Holy Spirit transform our hearts in the midst of everyday life?
This problem isn’t new. Early Christians faced with a disintegrating culture withdrew from society and formed monastic communities to better live out the gospel. From the rich soil of community grew a rule of life. Not rule as in restriction, but rule as in rhythm—a tempo to turn the chaos of life into music.
These desert fathers and mothers have much to teach us. The fruit of the Spirit grew large and sweet in their lives. How might we live like them today? Could a rag-tag group like us—situated not in isolated monastic communities, but right here in our ordinary contexts of school, work, and family—live out a rhythmed rule of life?
The Order of the Incarnation, or OI for short, is a Renovaré experiment in this way of life.
Recognizing that God himself has always been a relational community of Father, Son and Spirit, the Order of the Incarnation is lived out in groups. Chapters of OI are local communities bound together by a life-giving rule, meeting regularly to enjoy each other, and “provoke one another to love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24).
The heart of the OI rule is periodic silence, ongoing simplicity, and creative service. These counter-cultural practices bring life not only to ourselves, but to those around us. Living out the rule practically within a local chapter involves rhythms of prayer, Scripture reading, and fellowship. Joining a chapter is seasonal, with members committing to 6-12 months at a time.
The Order of the Incarnation is an idea in development. Please pray with us as we continue to seek the Lord on the shape it will take.