In our last series, we talked about loving our neighbours, and stepped through six shifts. From stranger to neighbour to acquaintance to partner to friend to becoming “like family”.
It’s possible to become like family with a focused group of people, where you practice loving your neighbours within that small group, and see that spill over to others outside.
This series looks specifically at this stage of being “like family” with other followers of Jesus. It’s called the church, believe it or not. Important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.
You probably have all sorts of preconceived notions of what that word means. Attached you’ll find a video of some people on the street who were asked about what they think of when they hear “church”.
You can find the video here:
Question: When you hear the word “church” what do you immediately see, or think? Make a list, there may be several. What experiences have informed you?
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Every family has routines and values, and these are closely connected. Take suburban family life as an example. On the surface, we can see routines: wake, eat, drop-off at daycare/school, commute to work, work, commute home, pickup kids, make and eat dinner, get everyone to bed, and repeat.
But we have to ask what values are behind that. Why do families move to the suburbs? There are choices, you could live in country, or the city. Why here?
For some, it’s where they grew up. Others want to be close to parents, or want their kids to have a yard of a certain size, or to be near nature.
Whatever the values, we chose the routine because of those values.
Yesterday, we saw Jesus shake up his family routine because he was pursuing a higher value. He called it the will of his Father in heaven. We have called these kingdom values, and it can be distilled down to loving God, and loving neighbour.
Jesus is challenging the extended family norms of his day, and replacing them with a new one. A new kind of family. With this new family will come new routines, all because of those founding values.
The other direction works, too.
We are trying to instill some routines in my family like saying a prayer before a meal (grace), asking our son the best and worst part of day, so we can say thanks to God in prayer, and ask for help or say sorry for the low parts of the day. We also read a Bible story and say a prayer at bed. We do this in hopes that our son will learn some values from those routines.
Let’s start simple, and look just at what it means to love God, and love neighbour.
Question: Based on the values of love God, love neighbour, what do you think Jesus’ family routines would be like? What could your immediate family’s routines look like?
This series looks at becoming “like family” with others learning to follow Jesus. We're exploring how the church is not a building, institution or event, but a community of people. It's important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.