Several years ago, when Angelo and I were young and just starting out in life together, we attended a toxic church. We didn’t know it was toxic, and we were young, and green and willing to jump in and help. We served by helping in the youth ministry with junior high kids. A ragtag bunch of kids met with us in the church basement where we tried to lead worship, share the gospel, and be their friends. Most of the kids lived in the apartments around the church, some were from church-going families. Sometimes the kids would be so ornery during youth group we wondered why they came at all. Our pastor at the time warned us one day about investing too much in these rowdy neighborhood kids. He said the goal of the ministries of the church was to bring people into the church as regulars. Regular attenders who would become regular members, who would regularly serve in ministries themselves and become regular givers. He said if a ministry didn’t provide material growth, …
I love knowing you. I love knowing that you’re there and sometimes you read my words and we can through this weird thing called the internet, connect in community. I have been a church-girl for a long time and honestly, the community has hurt and confused me. Sometimes I’ve hurt others. We are each one imperfect and in-process. So, our community won’t always be ideal. But, the goal of Christ and the promise is that we will be complete one day. Until then, let’s look for opportunities to uplift one another, forgive one another and face heavenward together.
This is a story about a king who would be born, raised up to power and chosen by God to free his people from captivity, to return them to their homeland and restore them. But it’s not a story about Jesus.
And Jesus understands. He knows that we need to have a better way to identify ourselves.
So today, let’s try this: I’m from God’s own heart; I’m God’s own hands and his own voice and his love-note to my neighbors and community; I’m God’s own plan and his own pride-and-joy! And so are you!
COME & SEE!
If we claim the name and salvation of Jesus Christ, lets stop it with the moaning about the injustices of this world and it’s inherent diseased and cancerous patterns. Let’s jump off the bandwagons and throw ourselves at the foot of the cross, the only source of real glory. Let’s take our everyday lives and place them before God as an offering.
It’s the one gift God wants at Christmas. And the exchange? He gives us unmerited, unlimited, marvelous newness.