Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Back in the saddle next week.  VBS prep and production for this week's run has slayed me....whew.
Great affiliation and association time for kids though.  An accommodation time for many adult and teen helpers and some assimilation into Christ's story as well.  Grace upon grace.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Insufficiency of Christ -1

Just lost another friend to apathy about Christ and the church.
For all you theological types, take a breath.  I am not saying that Jesus is insufficient.  What this is about is, "Why do people today, even after finding Christ, look for more than Him, look elsewhere for hope and peace and ...something?"  "What about Jesus is not enough?"  "What does a relationship with Jesus not offer?"  "Why is it so hard, even for me, to persevere in the long martyrdom of the Christian life?"
As with many of the answers the Holy Spirit has been pointing me to over the past few years, I believe this answer, too, is about the story.  Our worldly formation ties us so well into the story of the world that our part in God's story quickly becomes muddled, unfocused, uncomfortable, unrecognizable.  So much so that we easily lose sight of the story itself.  A continuing counterformation to the world's story is crucial if we and our children are to not only find our way to Christ but to stay with Him.  Even after all that the disciples went through with Jesus, even after the resurrection, as related in Matthew 28:18, "some doubted."  What is it that they still needed?
First, it is identity.  We must know who we are, whose we are.  And that comes with the constant telling of the story of the community of followers both in the past and now.  Fill your child's head, and yours, with the lives of the prophets and the disciples and the saints.  The disciples knew a story, of a Messiah who would "restore the kingdom of Israel" and their identity was wrapped up in that story.  See Acts 1:6.  They were formed by that ancient but misinterpreted story.  They had their identity in their present struggle.  Jesus did not fit well in that.  He will not fit well into our story.  When Jesus died, they realized that He was insufficient to their struggle.  Their twisted identity even persisted against the three year teaching and extraordinary events of Jesus.  They had lost, were defeated...again.  Misplaced hope.  -----  Because their story was wrong and their identity, based on their story, was wrong.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Liturgy as Formation - 3

The first formation through liturgical activity is learning - head knowledge and intellectual assent.  The second liturgical formation activity is spending time with Christ and the community.  The last formation "work of the people" is our call in II Corinthians 5:18 to ambassadorship.  Our formation is like a light bulb in a series circuit which also has a motor in the circuit.  If the motor isn't running the electricity can't move through the line and the light can't come on.  In order for transformation to happen in you, you have to be involved in service/ministry.  God's word will never come back ineffectual.  If you sit back and wait to be transformed before you start working in God's story you will wait forever.  To put formation in investment terms, 45% should be invested in time with Jesus and the fellowship, 35% in ministry and 20% in study.  For most Christians today, our Christ-following activities are predominantly: 1) study, 2) a small amount of time spent in prayer and fellowship, and 3) rare ministry/service.  What this does is create people who are philosophy "Christians" who know a lot about God and assent to most of his teachings and ethics and therefore think that they are Christians.  These are those for whom I fear, Jesus will say, "I never knew you."  You really must fall in love with Jesus.  Not the book.  Not the idea.  Not theology.  Not the traditions.  Not the church.  You must fall in love with Him.  Learning is good but the bulk of any relationship is spending time doing stuff together and for others.  Get to work.  We are not saved by works but we will not be saved without them.