Being the Church

We’re going to take a short excursion away from Luke this Sunday.  We’re going to remind ourselves, however quickly, why we do what we do as the church.  Implicit in all of the descriptions of “church” in the New Testament is the concept of community.

We’re going to derive our understanding of the goal for Christ’s community from the prayer He made in John 17, specifically verses 20-23.

As you read these verses, what seems to be the most repeated request that Jesus makes for us?  What reasons can you discern for his request?

Hopefully this will inspire some exploration of this topic.  See you Sunday!

3 responses to “Being the Church”

  1. Isn’t it amazing how much the church (and I suppose we can substitute ourselves here) have not done well at all. And then look at the specific things we fall short of.

    Jesus’s words stress a couple of things. 1st lets ALL be one. Not just the one’s who confess His name, not just the priest, levites, deacon and those who sit in pews every week, but ALL. This unqualified, unconditional and yes irrational acceptance and grace will testify to who You are and who I am, and in doing so God will be love and glorified.

    Sound pretty simple, its just got to be easy. Right? It sure wasn’t for the first church (1st Corinthian 1:10-17), and things appear to have only gotten worse since then. It begs the question to me, “Is this group thing just not working out?”. “Maybe I should just go it alone”. But alone does not work well with ALL.

    As I look at that quandry I do find a small answer. Maybe a good starting point lies in how each of us treat the ALL, but individually. I was talking just last night to a good friend about our struggle with forgiveness of others. He told me how his ego (rightness) gets in his way, he realizes this and therein lies his struggle. We both agreed that real forgiveness (or love) is not necessarily a natural response for a human (Remember we forgive, but don’t forget). It led us to imagine those times with friends, family members, spouses and strangers, even strangers that our enemy puts in our way, were in conflict with US (after all isn’t that where conflict lies). How do we put down our rightness as we see it, and just forgive or love them. Hoping for nothing in return, not even a thank you or aknowledgement, forget about a “you were right”. I believe this is the heart of Christ on the Cross, and how You “have loved them and You have loved Me.” Seems like a starting point.

  2. The main repeated request is that we (the church) would be one as He and the Father are one and that we would be one in Them. Oneness is an interesting directive. Earlier in John Jesus said that He did nothing of Himself but only did what He saw the Father do. So I guess as that applies to us first we should do only what we saw Jesus doing. Using the bible as our guidepost for all that we do. Loving God and others as Jesus did may be how we are one with He and the Father. Oneness with each other seems to mean we all have the same message the same love to show the hurting world around us. The scripture went on to say we should have this oneness so that the world would know that God sent Jesus and He loves them too. Maybe that is the single minded message we should stick too. When the world sees us arguing over pre, post, mid- tribulation, tongues or no tongues, shorts or dresses, baptist, catholic, methodist, non-denomonational, etc. we are not showing love to each other but rather tearing each other down. Non of it matters except Christ and Him crucified so maybe if we stick to one message in unity and love we can be one with Him and each other! I look forward to hearing what Rob has to say sorry for rambling…

  3. There is no “I” or”me” in church but there is a “u”. Many believers focus internally with themselves and their issues but the the church is a community where I need to love my neighbor and part of that is putting “me” aside to tend to “you”.

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