The original Inward Outward

Back in 1968 Elizabeth O’Connor wrote a book called Journey Inward Journey Outward.  That language was already an important part of her congregation, Church of the Saviour, in Washington, DC.  The book helped popularize this simple but profound notion of both journeys happening simultaneously.

Living in Washington, DC in 1968 must have been intense.  It was the height of the Civil Rights movement that was transforming into a national Poor People’s Campaign.  Although I believe the book was published before either happened, it was the year both Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were shot dead.

In the preface, O’Connor writes: “We cannot begin to cope with what it means to build a world community unless we understand how difficult it is to be in community even with a small group of people.”  Being the body of Christ, even in the small ways we care for one another, is never separate from the big work we do.

O’Connor speaks about life as a vocation.  Our primary job, in this view, is life itself.  To live it well, and to not be like those who “have an invitation to a banquet, but are too busy to attend.”

The fast of Lent is nearing an end.  The feast of Easter is coming.