Tuesday, November 18, 2008

big words

"As we follow Jesus we may not always know what God is calling us to do, but we are pretty sure of what kind of people God is calling us to be. People of hope, so compelled by the healing and justice, the grace and reconciliation of the gospel that we guide our lives by it. That is at the center of who we long to be as Servant’s Community Church, and we believe that everyone God calls into this community brings with them unique gifts and a unique role to play as we partner with that gospel work that God is doing in our midst."

I wrote those words earlier this summer in response to a nagging need to simplify what this whole church thing is about. They sit on the home page for Servant's website now as some sort of signpost for finding our way forward.

The words that make up that short paragraph are big words. Hope. Justice. Grace. They are big like a blazing Lake Michigan sunset, where your eyes get lost somewhere between the endless shoreline, the sprawling eastward sky, and the line where reality and reflection meet at the horizon. In other words, too big to take in.

But at the end of the day, I guess those big words are not ideas to be understood and tamed. They are more like the tools we have to tell a story. We borrowed those words of course. They come from a redemption story that is bigger than our story, yet one we find ourselves in. When we use those words it's a lot like taking a snapshot of that blazing sunset. Like all snapshots it's dissapointing when compared to the real thing, but it none the less gives enough of the color and contrast to get you back on the beach.

Our journey together as the people of God is an attempt to take those big creator words like hope, justice and grace, and create a little beauty ourselves. Hopefully this blog helps tell that story.

So every Tuesday when you fire up the computer and settle in for the day, take a swing over for a new post. Comments are highly encouraged, and hopefully those of us who are already a part of the Servant's family can pick up some of the conversation face to face.


At 2:50 PM , Blogger Don Thoms said...

There's a phrase used in the New Testament, which is worthy of thoughtful consideration with respect to the challenge we've had from Jeff & Jen. If I've heard them correctly, it's their desire for all who participate in the life of SCC to make use of the 'gifts' we've received from God's Spirit for the building up of the body of Christ and that for a God-like influence on our neighborhood.

The phrase I have in mind is "one another". Doing a 'search' for this phrase, using a Bible study program I have on my computer and confining that search from Romans thru 2 John, I find 57 verses where it's used. Of course not all of these passages have anything to do with our conversation, but a large part of them do.

The main point is that there's a great deal of dependence upon 'one another', in the 'body design' of Jesus church! We hear language like, "give preference to one another", "be devoted to one another", "build...up one another", "through love serve one another", "challenge one another", "bear one another's burdens", etc., etc.

You don't find a general rule to go to only a specific person(s)for EVERYTHING. Though there's an awareness of this at SCC, especially after the series' to encourage the opposite, nonetheless the mindset is still very deep in many of us and needs to be surgically removed by the scalpel of the New Testament.

Two suggestions: 1. Have frequent meetings where we can ponder this matter together conversationally (e.g., After Worship Study Fellowships where we can share studies on the issue), 2. Consider an open dialog on the topic of the Clergy / Laity dichotomy - its' history and its' effects on Body Life.

Just some stuff to think about together, but this is more than enough for now!

Don Thoms


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