The true test of a theology is not questions is answers but the community it creates.
Having just spent more than a year developing an understanding of the biblical narrative – centered on the conviction that God is love – we now turn our attention to “us,” to the conscious shaping of our life together as the family of God. If we believe this story we have just told, if we interpret it as we claim to, what will be our defining characteristics? What ethos must we seek to cultivate together? What behaviors and attitudes must prevail amongst us?
In this first installment (of six), our pal Ian Farrell focuses on the easy-to-say, so-hard-to-do call to a truly communal life. To be a member of the family of faith means we must re-define our very sense of self, to see our identity, our individuality, as derived from our community (and not the other way around). The church is not just another voluntary association – one we “join” when we feel ready and depart when it no longer suits us. Quite the opposite! The church is nothing less than the full compliment of the children of the Father, brothers and sisters adopted as heirs, not by our choosing, but by God’s election.
Whatever else defines us as the people of faith, the body of Christ…it is that we are a people and not a mere gathering of persons.
This is a sermon that was originally presented at Canvas (a Presbyterian church in Irvine, CA), October 19, 2014. To learn more about Canvas, click here!
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