Monday, May 14, 2007

Radical Church

As learning to live out of the image of God transforms the way we live and see one another, it must also transform the way in which we do church. I come to worship fully cognizant of my relationship to and in God and therefore my worship becomes more personal and more relational. I not only worship God by myself, but within the community of believers with whom I share the image and relationship with God. Just as a more fully understand the real spiritual connection I have with God, I come to our assemblies with the same mind of God and I see my brothers and sisters as God sees them. I see them as a shepherd would; as sheep who need nurturing and safety. In a real sense, I join with God and our assemblies become opportunities for me to share Him with the others here, regardless of their station, their challenges, or their failings. I see them as God sees them, and my worship and our assembly becomes ministry to them.

Because I live my life in this same way, in recognition of my relationship with and to God, and I see others as God sees them, my worship and our assemblies are transformed from something particular done on a particular day, to an extension of my life in this world. The assembly becomes an opportunity to worship our God and encourage others in the faith. I become less concerned with what I want to see happen, the style of the activities, the form of our sharing together, and I become more concerned with enlarging and enhancing our mutual and one another’s life in and with God.

Our assemblies become a sharing of both the worship and presence of God, and a particular aspect of our life in community with one another. As community expands into other areas and days of our lives, it enhances and nurtures our joint worship of our God together. These people here are truly part of my community, my communion with God, and I approach them at assembly times as I would at other times. We become open with one another, and we learn to accept one another in worship as we do at other times. As a result, we allow ourselves to live even more in the image of God, lightening both our and others’ loads of life and church.

Life, our being, our selves, become consistent wherever we are, whatever we are doing, and with whoever we are with. Psychology tells us that people who can be themselves wherever they are, are the most contented people there are. Living through the image of God allows us to be who we are, and who we were made to be, and it allows us to live like Paul, content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.

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