A week on Saturday, we will be making our vows as permanent members of The Order of Mission, vows we deferred back in June.
Someone asked me recently what taking vows is about: aren’t they somewhat arcane? Vows are a public declaration of an intention to live in a particular way, and usually within a relational context. Many Christian traditions make baptismal/confirmation vows, marking the intent to turn from living in a certain way – in rebellion against God – and live instead in another way – in relationship with God. Almost all Christian traditions make marriage vows, marking the intent to turn from living in a certain way – as a single person – and live instead in another way – in relationship with a husband or wife. Vows are not self-imposed rules to be adhered to, but interpretive keys to help us live in a way we have chosen.
The vows we will make a week on Saturday are to live as members of a community whose lifestyle is characterised by simplicity, purity, and accountability. These three aspects draw on the traditional vows of religious orders, of poverty, chastity and obedience; but re-articulate them for our twenty-first century context. I thought I’d take time to reflect on each of these in turn.
The Order of Mission , neo monasticism , nu monasticism , vows