The Power of Place
Daniel Grothe | October 31, 2021
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
The first vow St. Benedict called believers to take: The Vow of Stability
What is the purpose behind the vow of stability?
- Through the vow of stability, God wants to give us a gift.
Notice, the first gift that God gives humankind is the gift of place.
And the first curse after The Fall is the curse of placelessness!
Place gives us: Deep Security, Secure Identity, Skilled Mastery
- Through the vow of stability, God wants to make us holy.
A couple cultural trends at play:
- We live in an Age of Wanderlust
- We have become Pathologically Conflict-Avoidant
We vow to remain all our life with our local community. We live together, pray together, work together, relax together. We give up the temptation to move from place to place in search of an ideal situation. Ultimately there is no escape from oneself, and the idea that things would be better someplace else is usually an illusion. And when interpersonal conflicts arise, we have a great incentive to work things out and restore peace. This means learning the practices of love: acknowledging one’s own offensive behavior, giving up one’s preferences, and forgiving.
If you want to become holy, remember that people are the great purifiers!
Through the vow of stability, God will use us to “re-family” the world.
Ex…Ed Longfield—wife died and pulled out a phone book!
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.
“There is a direct relationship between the commitment of a pastor (or any person!) and the authority he or she wields in the spirit world. Pastors who are committed to something other than their churches are vulnerable to enemy influence. Though serving the church, their primary commitment may really be to their own advancement or something else (such as money, prestige or an easy life). We cannot expect the spirit world to take them seriously when they assert their authority over the church and the people . . . they purport to serve.”
- Charles Kraft, anthropologist, linguist, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary