A Prayer – attributed to Sir Francis Drake, 1577.

” Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed to little, when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

” Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we ceased to dream of eternity; and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

” Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes, and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.”

What a beautiful prayer for our Lenten journey. It is quoted by John Armstrong in his new book, “Your Church is Too Small“. In fact John uses it as the title of the final chapter. He says, ” that the prayer of this remarkable explorer makes a fitting conclusion”,  for the adventure he has taken the reader on.

He confides in us that he has “always had an insatiable desire to learn new things and discover new places. Perhaps this is why the greatest explorer of the Elizabethan Age, Sir Francis Drake (1500-1596), holds such a particular fascination for me”.

Knowing John Armstrong, I believe that his own exploration of the theme of Christian unity in the mission of Christ for the third millennium is going to continue. In his words, “There is more to learn and much more to obey. I feel like I have only just begun”.

I hope, along with some 100 fellow bloggers, to post a review of John’s book in March. I can’t think of a more fitting time for Zondervan to release this particular book. Not only will it await us as we complete Lent and celebrate afresh the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, but it converges on the 100 year anniversary of the first world-missions conference in Edinburgh, 1910, and the rising expectation that the Church has entered a new chapter of its existence.

For the e4Unity blog, you just can’t ask for much more than that.

Read a Catholic review (extensive).

More about John and his book.

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