Believe it or not, this Sunday we will complete our 10th sermon in the “ABC’s of Intown” series! I hope that you have not only enjoyed this study but have found the topic stimulating and informative.
We have so far looked at the terms: Community, Seeking, and Embody:
- Community: We are a church that is intentionally a missional community, asking how can we be a blessing to our city? how can we include the kinds of people that seem to be so close to the heart of God? how can we be a community of healing and justice and peacemaking? how can we use our work and our words to bring the delight and mercy and love of Jesus to the people in our city? To go deeper, start with Gerald Lohfink's Jesus and Community.
- Seeking: There are strange, unexpected, imperfect people in Jesus’ family tree in Matthew 1. And in the Beatitudes Jesus tells us that the “holiest" of people aren’t necessarily those who possess something but lack something - they are those who’ve despaired of their own holiness, their own ability to find/achieve Righteousness, these are the people who seek grace instead, who are primed to “notice” the intrusion of God when it appears, and this is the blessedness of the Beatitudes. Blessing is found in lacking something that only Jesus can provide, it is recognizing the gift of IM-perfection. For further study, I highly recommend Richard Rohr's Breathing Underwater.
- Embody: In Matthew 4 we are told of Jesus' call to his first disciples, "follow me." We understand this as a call to tangibly bring his healing presence into world wherever there is sickness, loneliness, hunger, poverty. Christianity isn't simply a new belief system but a new way of life and theology, if it is good theology will lead us into the lives of our neighbors with love and concern for their tangible needs. If you want to read further in this area I would suggest Timothy Keller's Generous Justice.
This week we will investigate this idea of embodied spirituality once more as we look at the issue of "justice." I was inspired to write this sermon by Cornel West's arresting comment that, "justice is what love looks like in public."