I’m also inclined to think that there’s also a valuable precedent here for our own communities, particularly churches in transition. Renewal begins within the people of God, and it’s crucial that we rediscover our identity before moving outwards, particularly when we’re in flux. I tend to be a go-getter, always looking for the church on the move, and pushing continuously in that direction, so I don’t instantly think in this fashion, yet the value of concentration for a season on a community’s quality of life (with the intent of synchronizing our proclamation, activity, and relational rhythms) makes a lot of sense to me.
Love Lohfink’s words on 138:
Christian efforts to transform the world…[do] not correspond to the New Testament unless [they] have [their] basis in the people of God. The world can be changed only when the people of God itself changes. It is not possible to liberate others unless freedom radiates within one’s own group. It is not possible to preach social repentance to others unless one lives in a community which takes seriously the new society of the reign of God.