I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Jen Hatmaker’s re-release of Interrupted.
If you ask Jen (I say like we’re friends and she knows me – ahem, hint, Jen) she will tell you that this is her favorite of the books she’s written. She will tell you to skip 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and read Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. Now I know why.
If you were here, in my house, I would urge you: “Stop what you are doing, right now, and read this book. Or, if you have time, sit there, drink your lemon-mint water and I will read it to you.” Seriously.
But you’re not here. And, because plagiarism is against the law, I will not be reprinting every single word for you, though I am tempted. It’s just that good.
It’s an easy read. Not that it won’t leave you thinking or mess with your comfortable life but you will find yourself coming to the end of one section and not wanting to put the book down before you move on to the next. You’re going to want to know what happens… and you’ll stay up way too late to find out. Fair warning.
Jen is intelligent, funny, engaging, inspiring and authentic. Can we be friends, please?
For Christians: Interrupted is going to mess with your come to church, listen to a sermon, attend a Bible Study, go about your business, comfortable, Jesus-loves-me, people will come to church when they’re ready to get their life together Christianity. It messed with mine in the very best way.
Interrupted is like someone throwing open the door to my stuffy, religious closet and declaring, “Look, Girl. When Jesus said to clothe, feed, and attend to the needs of the poor he meant it. And he didn’t mean it for someone else. Get going, there’s work to be done. It’s totally going to wreck your life and you are going to wonder why you waited so long.”
Not a Christian? I don’t know for certain, but I suspect you will find this book refreshing. As if someone in the Christian camp called us out on our need to walk our talk and didn’t just take a seat in the pew afterward.
Jen Hatmaker is talk and action and she does it with style.
I highlighted, made notes, bookmarked, read aloud to my husband and otherwise devoured no less that 50 different sections of Interrupted. The part I can’t seem to shake? Three simple words.
Belong. Believe. Become.
Even now those words bring tears to my eyes. Maybe you’re like me. You’ve been in church so long you can’t remember the last time your faith felt new, fresh and alive. You’ve been doing stuff for Jesus because you’re a good Christian and good Christians volunteer at church, teach their kids to sing praise songs, post Bible verses on their social media feed and on and on it goes until you’re so exhausted from being a good Christian you forget that you’re here because God loved you first.
God loved you first. He said, “We belong together. Here is all of me given up for you, my everything, so we can be together. I love you. You belong with me. Do you believe it?”
And then, when you believed it, he spoke over your life with love, “I have a whole new story for you. It looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Come with me. I’ll lead the way. Come, become what I’ve called you to be.”
Belong to Believe then Become as opposed to the message we’re really good at sending, “Believe to Behave then Belong.”
Jen says it like this:
“When we lead with doctrine before love, we brutalize the spirit of the doctrine we’re prioritizing.”
She goes on to write:
“Theology very naturally follows belief, but belief rarely follows judgment.”
What I took away, so clearly, from Interrupted was that as believers it is our job to love before anything else. Not to keep our faith hidden, but to allow the love of Jesus we so readily profess and vehemently defend to be the driving force of our lives. Love like Jesus loved.
That love looks like a woman caught in adultery not being condemned. It looks like reaching out to touch the sick. It looks like becoming a servant of all. It looks like heading to the party with the ‘sinners and
lawyers tax collectors.’ It looks like loving your enemy. It looks like sending the message, “Come as you are, you belong in my life. If it costs me everything, I want you here.”
And then, when love has been established and judgment is demolished, “Here is the Jesus I love so dearly. You can know him too.”
Belong to Believe then Become.
Are you convinced yet? Do you want to read this book? I hope so.
I have a copy for one of you. Oh yes I do.
Enter to receive a copy of Interrupted by leaving a comment here telling me why you want to read this book. For a second entry become an e-mail subscriber to Intentional Jane and leave a comment telling me you subscribed. Want to enter three times? Share this post on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did. (If you’re reading this via e-mail you’ll have to jump over to the blog to enter.)
I’ll choose the winner at random on August 25.
To sweeten the deal I’ll include a hand drawn picture from Little Jane (and a note from me).
I hope you win, read the book, and pass it on!