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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Yesterday, I introduced the idea of grace with a diagram. We will build on that now, so if you missed it, go back and watch Tuesday’s content.
Grace is the most powerful force in the world, it is what makes Christian faith stand out like a jewel---the world craves it---people are so hungry for grace, often desperate for grace---and grace is there for all people.
Imagine grace in Syria, imagine grace in Iraq, imagine grace in a time of marriage breakdown, in your workplace. Just imagine grace everywhere…grace says there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, there is nothing I can do to make God love me less…how would that change the way people act in our world?
Imagine grace in your life…a fresh start, forgiveness, a relationship with God, and hope for the future. A certain way of life, of obedience to God’s way of living is an important part of this, but as outcome, the thanksgiving for God’s love, rather than a way of earning it in the first place.
We’re invited to practice living in God’s kingdom now. This affects many areas of our lives. It reorders our priorities, views of success, sex and marriage, money and possessions, and the poor. That is a big, loaded list.
From the outside, although it looks strange and different, those who practice living God’s kingdom here and now in these ways find that it’s exactly what they were created for – that they’re living according to the script written for their lives and their world, and it’s a natural fit like none other, even though it’s new and different.
We all want to be free, and so sometimes when we hear about laws, living a certain way, we think someone is trying to control or take away our freedom. But imagine a train, that gets bored running up and down its tracks, and looks at countryside, longing to be “free” of the rails. If it does hop the rails, it will meet with disaster and destruction, not happiness and freedom. A train is not designed for fields, but designed for tracks. A train is never more free than doing what it was designed to do...run on tracks.
It’s the same with humans, we’re designed by creator with a specific way of life. For best results, follow maker’s instructions.”
Question: Have you ever gone off the rails in life, thinking you were enjoying your freedom? What helped you get back on track?
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.