Last Sunday, we wrapped up our BLESS teaching series on how to love the city. Three concepts stand out to me as we turn the page on this chapter in the life of our church: BLESS - I stumbled across this acronym by DaveFerguson when I was doing my research on the series and it fit in very well with the biblical picture of blessing as a paradigm for loving our city. Begin with Prayer. Listen. Eat. Serve. Story. Who are you going to BLESS today?
SIN - Several years ago, I read Cornelius Plantinga’s NotTheWayIt’sSupposedToBe: ABreviaryofSin and being challenged by the different ways that the Scriptures thinks about sin. So while it’s certainly not the only way to describe sin, the idea of sin as our self-absorbed attempts to play God kept coming up through these texts we studied. Our bent towards taking control in making our own rules and solving our own problems is dastardly.
GOSPEL+SAFETY+TIME - I’ve been talking about this concept for almost a year, as it struck me as something remarkable the first time I heard Ray Ortlund articulate the idea. Somehow over time, I tweaked it (unintentionally) to Gospel+Space+Time but someone sent me an email this week to a blogpost Ray has written about the paradigm and I’m convinced his original construct is better. If you didn’t click on the link to Ray’s blog, hereitis again. In a religious culture that marinates in moralism+threat+immediacy, this is a life-giving idea.
I’m incredibly thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit that gives life to the message preached outside of our time together on Sundays. This is part of building life around each other as we’re challenged, comforted and emboldened to build on an idea or to push back when something isn’t clear or feels off.
This Sunday, we jump back into our Disciple: Following Jesus series with Luke 12:1-12. Took awhile to get a handle on what Jesus is saying but it’s coming together. Our basic definition of discipleship is listening to God, responding in repentance and faith, and figuring it out with other people. My prayer is that God would strengthen our discipleship as we learn to follow Jesus. Together.