April 25, 2010

"...redemption is creeping into the way we think, believe, and see the world."

This morning I discovered another thing I was afraid of... or rather, nervous about. Church.
Explaining our church-visiting would be complicated, and plus, it's not what I want to talk about. I want to tell you, I guess, how blessed I was today... how blessed I am.

There's a church gathering in our town that we've gone to a few times. It's bothered me that my family seems dispassionate about it. ...I've been confused how much we're trying to commit, or what it would actually look like to live and serve with these people. I've worried that it's disconnected from our hearts, or that we don't invest in the people there. But going today was immensely encouraging.

When I was at Regionals I thought a lot about dependency, and if I needed my friends and acquaintances. Collating my memories, I wrote, "my need doesn’t have to be for a deep outpouring of myself or of them, but a need simply for faces and voices and everyday life." That's kind of how it was today... we worshiped together, even though it was with people who I'd seen only a few times before. They are very welcoming to us, and I am so glad. I am thankful that Christ is all, and in all.

What made things even better was the theme of the sermon. It was specifically on 1 Cor 6: 12-20, but the pastor made purity in our bodies make sense in the context of redemption. He discussed how legalism only focuses on cutting out what's wrong, and so loses the good, and the joy of the Lord. He explained how license is permissive about the flesh, acting as if what we do physically is insignificant. But the truth is that evil is ended by turning it to good: by a whole-person change. (The law of the spirit of life has set us free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.) And the truth is that since the whole self will be redeemed, it matters what we do with our bodies. A free life is a united life, where action is guided by the Spirit.

So, I feel as if I'm learning about redemption in both mind and life. The past few months, I've been awed by how God shows me how everything of the life he's given me is valuable, how he uses my doubt and discontentment and disappointment. Today was an echoing of that. Being able to have conversations with people in my town, and see life and the Holy Spirit there, gives me hope for a community both physical and spiritual. It gives me hope for redemption.

(quote in the title is from David Dark's The Sacredness of Questioning Everything)


Kay said...

this makes me smile. and i believe your passion for community is contagious at very least to me.