On NOT Being Discarded
You and I have not been abandoned by God. We are not spiritual 'orphans'. Why not? Because - by His blood - the Lamb of God has transformed our wretched existences into Life. By His Blood, He has given us a new bloodline. By His blood, we have been adopted from out of our vulnerability into His wholeness family and we have NOT been discarded as we deserved.
Our precious Senior Pastor is relatively new to our church but we fell in love with him pretty quickly. He's doing his best to lead us into Holy habits and Holy living. My sense is that his intention in our living Holy lives and Holy relationships is that we may be more empowered to undertake the monumental tasks before us.
Now, our church is a 'restart' church and so far the restart is working very well. Also, our church is in a unique position in our city. We are surrounded by a residential neighborhood that could go either very well or very sour. What we do in releasing the very real power of The Holy Spirit will very much impact the future of our end of town. The monumental tasks before us include (from my point of view) 'adopting' the entire neighborhood into the family of God - and (again, from my point of view) our church wants to believe that we are God's family, ready to love eveyone that is willing to be loved.
The neighborhood around our church has become very vulnerable and is in danger of being discarded. You know and I know that some massive infusions of cash would help tremendously but what the neighborhood REALLY needs is for the breath of The Holy Spirit to blow through, persistently, for the forseeable future. Part of the issue is that not many of us from the church live in the neigborhood. We're mostly 'outsiders' who come into town for worship and hang around occasionally during the week and then we're gone. Meanwhile, while that whole neighborhood has our prayers, for the most of the week, it is up to the police to try to keep a lid on the situation. They can't be everywhere.
And I'm not talking about just legal problems. There is real spiritual sickness there. The neighborhood is diseased, like a person is diseased who should be adopted by a Christian family.
There is a real need for us to be focused on the situation. However, most of us in the church are trying to live 'normal' lives that are not informed by the concept of adopting vulnerable persons. Not many of us 'get it' just yet. However, I believe that our Senior Pastor and his wonderful pastoral staff are leading us in a direction that will be more informed by 'The Kingdom of God' and less influenced by 'The American Dream'. Holy habits, Holy relationships and Holy living can contribute to Holy communion. I sincerely believe that in Holy communion as the Family of God, we can receive power to break the bondage of fear, ignorance and disease and have the strength - together - to adopt those who are willing to be received into our family.
What's happening here is far larger than just our being a 'restarted' church. This is more that just a congregation that found a new path. Indeed, I believe we have been called out - as a family of God - to surrender all that we are on behalf of all that He wants to give us. God wants to give us the neighborhood around us. God wants us to have our church in the promised land, right there where we are. God wants us to grow our family in Him by adopting the broken, the diseased, the outcast and the vulnerable for His Kingdom, His Wholeness, His Reconciliation and His Reclamation. In communion with Him, anything is possible.