Sunday, July 30, 2006

We're Not Bad People Anymore

Wow! That feels better. I guess we arn't bad people anymore. Or, maybe that remains to be seen. At least the pool looks good now and we are in and swimming. The test or our goodness will come with the passing of time and the monotony of the upkeep. Good thing we believe in pool grace -- but not pool license!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

You Guys Are Bad People

Ok. So our pool filter and moter got messed up, and our water got out of wack and then things got busy, excuses, excuses, excuses. Yeah, so we meet this guy, John -- the worlds best pool guy. He comes over to the house and drain the pool. He looks at the thick green mess and just stands there silent. Then, he says "you guys are bad people." Yup.

The pool looked great at one time, really. And then it slowly got out of hand until we lost control of it. There is a spiritual analogy there somewhere -- take your pick.

Pictures of the clean pool to come soon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The New Pharisees -- Saved Unto Privilege?

I was reading Romans 2 today, and was struck by how much Pauls description of the religious folks fits so many of us today. Just change a couple of words to change the context and you tell me if it rings true:
Romans 2:17-26 (The Message with liberties)

If you're brought up Christian, going to church, don't assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you're an insider to God's revelation, a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines! I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know God's revealed Word inside and out, feel qualified to guide others through their blind alleys and dark nights and confused emotions to God. While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you? I'm quite serious. While preaching "Don't steal!" are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you? The same with adultery. The same with idolatry. You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law. The line from Scripture, "It's because of you Christians that the outsiders are down on God," shows it's an old problem that isn't going to go away. Going to chuch, and having a fish on your car is great if you live in accord with God's law. But if you don't, it's worse than if no body knew about it.

It sounds so familiar, it rings so true, and I so want to yell, "hey, look!" "Look at what you are doing, stop it." And I do yell it, but I need to yell it at myself too.

But, the main point is that I think I know the reason. I think I know the reason why the Old Pharisees and the "New Pharisees" acted this way. They both think they were saved unto privelege and not responsibility. They both think that the reason they were picked, pulled out of death, brought into God's plan, was for them, was for their benefit, for their privilege.

"Let's all wait until Messiah comes to kill all our enemies and rule as king." "Until then, we will hate all outsiders, unless they become like us."

And God weeps as their light becomes dimmer.

"Let's all wait until Jesus comes back to kill all the evil people and take me out of this world." "Until then, we will hate all outsiders, unless they become like us."

And Jesus weeps as their light becomes dimmer, as his words become a distant ecco, fading into the mist "Go out and trian everybody you meet, far and near in this (kingdom) way of life that I have demonstrated to you, marking them by baptism . . . and instructing them in all of the practices I have commanded you."

And, maybe he might add, "I have saved you unto great responsibility, through and with the amazing privilege of partering with me in my rule and reign, forever."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Imagine Movements of Missional Communities


Imagine what it would would happen if in your community there sprung up 2 or 3 or 6 or 10 or 15 groups of 8 to 15 people who are all committed to being apprentices together of Jesus; to learn what it means to be in accountable community, but saw thier roles as representatives of his Kingdom in whatever setting they spend most of their time.

Imagine if each of these missional communities in learning what it means to be an apprentice of Jesus, in community, adopted a neighbor -- a low income apartment building, or single mom, or family, and just blessed them with food, or time, or whatever.

Imagine if each one of these missional communities gave birth to another missional community that did the same.

Imagine if the people who were blessed by the mercy and grace poured out by these communities began to talk to each other about the strange thing they have experienced in having thier needs met by almost perfect strangers who want nothing in return, and find out that others in need have been blessed as well.

Imagine if the only common denominator between the blessors is not race, or color, or gender or age, but Jesus.

Imagine what it would look like if God's Kingdom were done here the way it were done in heaven.

Imagine what it would look like if people actually did go and make disciples of all the nations.