It's no secret that I haven't done really well at keeping new content and communication in the "Pastor's Blog" section of the website. Well, one of the steps we're trying to take as a congregational leadership team is to provide more communication through the website.
The plan will be to have a new blog post every other Friday that addresses something we've discussed at the recent leadership team, something that has come up in my sermon preparation, or some tangential insight from other theological or biblical reading. Sometimes it will be some material that seems interesting to me, but just doesn't fit into the flow of a sermon--often because it is a long or dense quote.
This week we will start with a passage from Søren Kierkegaard. In these few paragraphs about one of Jesus' parables, I hope you'll be led to reflect on the relation between promising, commitment, and fidelity. This coincides with the present sermon series from Christine Pohl's Living into Community that I'm using with the series and reviewing for the Wesleyan Theological Journal. She is the one that led me to Kierkegaard this time. He offers a profound framing of this story that really highlights the importance of how we choose to use our promises. S.K. illustrates one more way in which our lives together are intertwined with each other and even a tendency to too quickly say "Yes" has further rippled effects on the community and our relationships.Read more: Let's try this again...
This week's CWC email had a great quoted passage from the Church of God hymnal and a catchy image to reiterate the message. Here they are:
I suppose if I was the editor for the song, I would have suggested that the words be changed from "Called from Worship unto Service" to "Called in Worship unto Service" or "Called to Worship through Service." We should view the totality of our lives as worship. And that's not to minimize the worship that happens in church buildings on Sunday mornings which is also crucial worship that forms our lives around embodied relationships with each other and sets a rhythm of time to our lives while also creating space for God to speak through songs, prayers, scriptures, ordinances, and the preached word.
If you've been listening to sermons then it's no secret to you all that one of my favorite preachers, teachers, and Christian theologians is James Earl Massey. He has shaped many aspects of my understanding regarding what it means to be part of and pastor within the Church of God. I was recently browsing the internet for a quote from him when I came across this video of him from the Faith and Leadership group at Duke Divinity School. Here's the clip:
This got me to thinking--how well are we discipling at Crossroads? It is an important question for us to consider as a congregation. When we look at the discipling Jesus did, he called people from all walks of life and as we read the stories--the disciples grew, changed, and eventually blossomed into leaders of the church. My hope for us all is that as Massey states at the end of this clip, we will together grow, change into the likeness of Jesus, and blossom into people whose activity flows out of our understanding that our meaning comes from following and conforming to Christ.
Hopefully the word "church" means much more than a building or a calendar of activities--but an identification with a group of people called disciples. Disciples of Christ sent out to the world. If Jesus is your Lord--then you're part of church.