When We is Bigger than Me

Raise your hand if you've read the book of Habakkuk...
Or know how to pronounce Habakkuk...

Habakkuk was a prophet whose brief book in the Old Testament is a wonderful example of holy waiting, and of holy dreaming.  Habakkuk waited on God to do the kind of work God had promised to do, but wasn't doing in a way we can easily recognize.  

Later, recorded in Acts 2:42-45, we read about the early Church gathering together daily to break bread, worship, learn God's word, and enact the ministry of the Kingdom of God.  We are still called to do this today.  Is it "working?"  Are we still waiting on God?  Are we waiting while still dreaming, still remaining confident in God?

Spirituality in our time is like no other in human history.  In our time, spirituality has been reduced to individuals' journeys -- "Jesus and me."  Or, "I believe in God, but I don't do church because it's a personal relationship."  Not entirely bad.  But not complete without community.

There is no way that every aspect of the ministry of Christ's Church can be embodied by or inspirational to an individual within the Church.  It is only possible in Christian community.  That may seem strange because the cultural waters in which we swim really is all about "me."  But the work of Jesus is to crack that habit open and make us see that we are part of a larger, more purposeful and capable whole, with King Jesus at the head.  

Luke Skywalker.  Harry Potter.  Bilbo Baggins.  Indiana Jones.  Tom Brady.  A US President.  A church pastor.  What do all of these have in common?  They are all part of a seductive narrative that one person can be the answer to whatever problem.  Social media amplifies this exponentially as people magnify themselves in order to get "likes" and "follows" and even monetize those followers into a career -- all based on self-videos about being the "best" at applying makeup or repairing drywall, etc.  

But no individual part of the Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- is saying "look at me!"  The Father gives the Son, the Son obeys the Father, the Holy Spirit points us back to the Son.  

When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, the parade in Seattle drew around a million locals to celebrate with the team.  It was a special moment in our local history when people truly came together.  We know what it looks like.  We know it's possible.  And while football is fun, its victory doesn't last.  How can the Church be the agent of creating like community in an ongoing way?  How is God calling you to use your gifts -- your TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE -- to be part of creating that community, which can dream God's dreams together, and celebrate the presence of God in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, streets, and beyond?  

(For a more complete treatment of this subject, it's important to listen to the Sunday teaching at UPPC.org/media.)

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