Community Outside the Comfort Zone

For most of the Sunday’s in April and through the month of May, we have been hearing key stories from the Acts of the Apostles. This book is full of conversions, healings, and life after death in all its tipping-point, life-altering forms. The stories hone in on the early community of Jesus-people who were clearly empowered by the Holy Spirit. Most importantly, these folks were not content with the status quo.

The healings and conversions and liberations they experienced are all about community. Being a community requires that we overcome the intense privacy and individualism that are the cultural icons of our day. It can be really challenging to live in community, to be church as a community. We don’t always agree. We resist new ways of doing something that seemed to be working just fine the old way. We grieve the loss of church as it was in the ‘glory’ days. I imagine the disciples feeling much the same way after Jesus’ death … what in the world do we do now? Well, they gathered, they sang, they prayed and prayed and prayed harder. Most of all, they listened to each other and to the Spirit and then, they acted!

The stories in Acts tell us how the Spirit was turning their world upside down, widening the welcome of who could be part of the Jesus movement, and most of all adapting to new ways of being the Body of Christ. We are being called to respond in similar ways.

I invite you to sign up for projects and short-term ways to serve that present themselves to us. I invite you to try something that pushes you outside your comfort zone just a little and be ready for the Spirit to warm your heart in response. I invite you to allow the Spirit to fill you with joy, move you to work for justice, and share the love of God. That’s how we DO church and how we ARE a church community of diverse and faithful followers.

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