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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We are a few weeks into a new series on “Becoming Like Family”. This is important as members of our online community begin to share the daily challenges with friends, and we begin to gather our larger community together as one church community. We won’t be bound together by a building, or institution, but rather by five commitments. We’ve talked about commitment to common learning goals, connectedness as a community of small and large groups, connectedness to God in worship, and now this week, we come to grace in lifestyle.
Those who’ve decided to follow Jesus, and walk in his path, are going to have to choose this over other paths. These choices impact many areas of life. That should be no surprise, but sometimes it’s hard to swallow. We can recoil from rules, or worry about restricted freedom.
We’ll explore that this week, but it starts with understanding why we are asked to live by, and with, grace.
But what does grace mean?
There is a classic Seinfeld episode where Elaine is in a job interview, and the interviewer shares her admiration of Jackie O, who had “grace”. Elaine tries to say, “I think I have a little grace” but the interviewer snaps back, “You can’t have a little grace, you either have it or you don’t.” Elaine backpendals, “Alright, I have no grace. I don’t have grace, I don’t want grace. Hey, I don’t even say grace.”
You can see the confusion here – what does grace even mean? Is it poise and kindness? Is it a lovely name for an old lady that is finally making a comeback? Is it a prayer before a meal?
Question: What do you think of when you hear the word grace? What does it mean?
Reminder: Last week we talked about worship, and asked you to complete our online survey about worship here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8TS7K93
Reminder: Earlier in this series, we saw the importance of reading the Bible together in sync, so our new daily bible readings start today in our mobile app and web site.
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.