Archive for April 28th, 2011

In community we are challenged. In community we are encouraged. In community we are served. In community we learn. In community we are corrected. In community we mature. In community we love. In community we are loved. In community we thrive.

There’s a story about a minister who went to see a church member who had missed a few weeks at church. After the customary greetings, the minister comes in and sits down by the fire. The two sit in silence for a few minutes watching the active fire when the minister goes over to the fireplace and, with the fireplace tongs, moves a burning coal away from the rest of the fire onto the hearth. The bright glowing ember soon fades and eventually loses it’s fire. The minister then takes the dead ember and places it back in the fire where it immediately begins to glow again from the heat of the rest of the fire.

In Christ, we find community. But only if we participate in the service of Christ, cooperate with the work of Christ, share in the suffering of Christ, dwell among the body of Christ.

  • Share/Bookmark

A few weeks ago, a guy I knew died. He died in a house fire with his 5 month old son. His wife and two other small Children were coming back the next day from Florida.

At the same time, I was fighting bronchitis, a double ear infection and strep throat. I was falling behind on my school work. I was too busy and under-resourced. I was discouraged.

That Saturday I almost skipped church. I had received a few shots and was starting to feel better but I was still so far behind and discouraged and to be honest I was struggling with the “ug” question.¬† There was the death of a man who had sold his life for Jesus. His wife and children. There was my impending failure at school. There was just the over all “ug” of life catching up with me.

I didn’t skip church.

I went and it was awesome. I vaguely¬† remember what was preached. What I do remember was singing “It is well with my soul.” One particular line came down and hit me so hard, I almost had to sit down.

These particular words pierced my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Emphasis mine)

I grew up singing this song. It had never hit me like it did at that moment. Perhaps because I have a life time of failures to reflect upon now. I’m not really sure why but it was a time where God reached down and hugged me all at once. In a world of partial forgiveness, God’s love is perfect. It is redeeming. I bear my sin no more.

We can let go of our anger. We can let go of our hurt. It’s OK to struggle with ug questions of life. God is big enough to handle it.

Be blessed today as you realize that God has forgiven you wholly.

YouTube Preview Image
  • Share/Bookmark

I think it might be more than one line:

“Acts is not a manual with blueprints and a set of instructions on how to be a church. Acts is not a utopian fantasy on what a perfect church would look like. Acts is a detailed story of the ways in which the first church became a church. The story is not a script to be copied.”–Eugene Peterson, The Pastor, 118

This seems reasonable to me. What say you?

  • Share/Bookmark