A reader e-mails:
Christ is risen!
I live in Melbourne, Australia. I’m an Orthodox Christian (try to be).
I want to share with you something I am doing that has a bit of “Benedict Option” about it.
Nine months ago my youngest brother was going through some difficulties with his faith, and we decided to meet on a weekly basis to explore his experience further and to encourage each other to
stay on the path. Within a month, our meetings swelled into a group of fifteen guys (friends and relatives) with regular meetings occurring in my garage ever since. Over the summer we met weekly, we now meet fortnightly.
The meetings we have nicknamed God’s Garage. The meetings start at 9pm and finish when people have had enough, usually 2-3am. Any discussion about God can go on forever, and that is why I think the meetings work well.
These days, so much of what is said is superficial. When we gather in the garage we have a rule that we will stick to the things that matter in life. The guys love it. Because the guys that attend are guys I interact with throughout the week — our kids go to the same school, we go to the same church, we see each other in the local area — there is a sense of community that is developing between us. By no means do we see ourselves as somehow better than anyone, or somehow outside of the church; in fact our local priest is invited to attend.
It used to be that when we got together, we talked about football. At times we would talk about the modern project and how we are losing the culture war. Now we talk about the inner life. In a way, we made the life in Christ a part of our cultural narrative by gathering in His name.
God’s Garage has become a place where guys pour out their feelings and then gather their bearings in the light of our church teachings. We studied the Beatitudes for four months. We wrestled with Christ’s words and the fight that took place is, I think, necessary. Too often, our examination of our lives is put off by the suggestion of a sandwich or a minor delight that comes to distract us. I think we have started developing awareness that the Truth is out there — a thing that the modern project can obscure if we are left to our own devices.
I love this. Theo and his crew are acting like the “creative minorities” that Pope Benedict XVI said Christians in the West would need to be in the post-Christian era. I hope this becomes a thing. Would you be interested in doing a God’s Garage at your place?