We are working toward becoming one church community united by common learning goals, even as we are scattered commuting people.
This week we’re studying a passage from Ephesians that includes this line: “until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”
We want to highlight the process involved. The aim is to become more and more like Jesus, not just in outward appearance, but completely, the “full stature”. This is clearly not instant, but a maturing process, since no one on this earth has ever been completely like Jesus.
I have shared a few stories from when I studied engineering, and the importance of learning problem solving and analysis. That principle can be applied to any scenario, even the unprecedented and complex ones.
Discipleship is about theological problem solving in similarly complex and unexpected situations. Paul was involved in discipleship to help his church members avoid being thrown around by every idea, doctrine like a small boat in wind and waves.
Contrast a road and ocean. Some want faith to be a roadway, with clear boundaries, signs, maps and directions to follow. But the problem is that real life is much more like an ocean, where you can’t give a plan for every scenario , but follow a compass heading with a specific end in mind, but the actual journey will be less strictly defined. This is the pursuit of discipleship, to set a compass heading of what the bible calls “Christlikeness” – becoming like Jesus Christ. We will get there by navigating all sorts of wind and wave action, and keeping focused on the end goal.
This is a series on church community, becoming like family. Discipleship is a family effort, done in a group. I remember engineering projects that would have been impossible for me to do it alone – I knew one aspect of the project, while others knew theirs, and together we accomplished something greater than any one of us could do on our own.
In the same way, we aren’t meant to grow as a disciple alone. We need challenge, encouragement, and complementary gifts like the five we saw yesterday.
Question: Are you more comfortable in a spiritual ocean or roadway? What part of life feels like an ocean today?
Coffee Hours this Week:
Have questions about the challenges, do you want to meet others exploring the same content, or connect with Ryan?
Join us for our coffee shop drop-in tonight, Wednesay, October 30th from 7:30pm-9:00pm at the Starbucks in the Ajax Chapters. Look for Ryan Sim in the drink line, or a Redeem the Commute postcard on a table.
If you know in advance that you’re coming, please RSVP here
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This week, we’re exploring how a church community should be committed to connectedness to God in worship.
Humans will never be more connected to God than in the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God. The Bible includes the book of Revelation, which recounts John’s vision of the kingdom of heaven. Here’s what he described about angels, and then humans:
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE Lord GOD ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS, AND IS, AND IS TO COME." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:8-11)
Even in the kingdom, there is worship. The word may not appear in this reading, but the core meaning is there. Worship means “to give worth to something.” And the words “you are worthy” are right at the beginning of the words the elders say in their heavenly worship.
You can tell what someone values by how they spend money, time. You can see what’s worth their limited resources. Worship is spending our limited time on God. It’s an expression of love.
In our Marriage and Parenting courses, we introduce the five love languages. Some communicate and receive love through words, touch, acts of service, time, and others through gifts.
In the same way, we can show love to God through various “languages”. Worship includes prayer, and music, confessing sins, asking forgiveness, reminding ourselves what we believe, reading the Bible together, and more. All aspects of how communities of Christians worship.
These are all ways to communicate God’s worth in our eyes. You can see it in this reading. The elders say, “You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power” but then they tell him why: he is the creator of everything.
He knows all this, of course. But this is a time for humans, mortals, to feed that back to him. To acknowledge he is at the cetner of our lives, not the periphery, and we’re not going to deny it.
Question: How do you know someone values you? What do they say, do, or not?
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.