Monday, February 28, 2011

Where Are You in Community With Others?

Yesterday I preached the Sunday morning service at my church, The Journey Church.  As the associate pastor, I am afforded the opportunity to share what God is laying on my heart every couple of months or so.  I’ve now preached about 4 or 5 times, and it was just as nerve wrecking yesterday as it was the first time.  It really helps me appreciate those who share the Word each and every week.

My message was about community, and it was titled “The Five Courses of Community,” based on 1 Peter 3:8.  That passage simply reads as a charge to believers - “Finally all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 

That passage contains 5 layers or courses (think restaurant) of what makes up an individual’s commitment to community.  Each of these courses builds upon the previous one.  Here’s what was on my heart –

  1.  The first course – Soup – We are called to be united –This is where we show up and begin to meet like-minded people (Hebrews 10:23-25)
  2.   The second course – Appetizer – We are called to be sympathetic and sensitive – This is where we begin to share and receive as we get to know others (Hebrews 13:16, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
  3. The third course – Salad – We are called to love – This is where we begin to care for each other on a deeper level (Galatians 6:2, James 5:16)
  4.  The fourth course – Entree – We are called to tenderness – This is where our love is known by others as a representation of our loving Father (Mark 12:28-31, John13:34-35)
  5.  The fifth course – Dessert – We are called to remain humble – This is where we maintain community in its most basic and God-designed sense (Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 133)

I’ve said all that to ask this question – On what course are you currently dining?   Are you trying to find all of your nourishment by eating only appetizers?  I’ll admit I enjoy eating a blooming onion, but I can’t live on that as the primary meal 3 times a day, 7 days a week. Same goes for trying to be content on just one “course” of community – it’s the combination of all the courses that really satisfies. 

Is Jesus getting all of me and you?

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