Posts Tagged: "belonging"

Role Reversal Communion Had Me Crying

- - Life With God, Uncategorized

At YOUTH last night, Pastor Andy gave a message about belonging. He talked about his love of the Muppets – particularly how they are such a collection of oddballs and misfits, but they somehow belong together.

He also shared the passage from the book of Acts where Peter has a vision from God – and describes it like this: “God has just shown me that no race is better than any other… It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God… the door is open.” (Acts 10.28, 34-35)

Andy said church looks like the Muppets – oddballs and misfits who wouldn’t normally be together, but we are because we belong. We belong because of Jesus.

Then he started setting up communion by talking about the kinds of people Jesus spent time with and ate with: rich, poor, educated, uneducated, sick, healthy, insiders, outsiders, faith-filled, doubters…

And he talked about the people who sat with Jesus at the Last Supper (the first communion): a tax collector, a doubting Thomas, a soon-to-be denier, and even a betrayer.

Andy called out a few youth leaders to join him up front and asked… Read More

Lent Day 7… Have We Fallen Out Of Belonging?

 Although we are many, we are one in Christ—and we belong to one another. —Romans 12.5

Sebastian Junger, in his fascinating book TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging, says:

“Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It’s time for that to end.

To say it bluntly, modern society seems to emphasize extrinsic values over intrinsic ones, and as a result, mental health issues refuse to decline with growing wealth. The alienating effects of wealth and modernity on the human experience start virtually at birth and never let up.”

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of not belonging. —Mother Teresa

John O’Donohue said, “While our culture is all gloss and pace on the outside, within it is… Read More

Your Place At The Table Is Saved & It Is Safe

I don’t know what the vision statement of the church I grew up in was, but if I were to guess based on the rapture movies they used to show, it’d be something like:

We exist to scare the hell out of everyone.

Yes, I had nightmares about missing the rapture, heads being chopped off, accidentally getting the mark of the beast, and a variety of other apocalyptic terrors.

And there were a number of times when, coming home from school and finding no evidence of family members, I’d panic and assume the worst: I had missed the rapture. For the next few minutes (until my mom came back from visiting with a friend), I’d frantically devise my ridiculous escape and survival plan… Read More

Didn’t Have To Run

Yesterday, my wife was asking me about my younger years of rebellion—my “prodigal son” days. She wondered how far away from God I felt like I was back then…

Did you believe you had run away from God? Did you see yourself as truly on the outside, no longer part of the family of God?

It didn’t take me long to answer. Yes, I did.

Back then, I didn’t have such a generous view of the family of God.

What I understood from the teaching of the church at that time was clear: Do those things, and you are not part of us. More specifically, do those things, and you are not part of Him… Read More

Kindness Revealed

As I have grown in my understanding of God, and in my relationship with him over the years, I’ve come to believe something about his nature…

He is kind.

I will have compassion on you with everlasting kindness, says the Lord —Isaiah 54.8 GWT

His kindness is everlasting.

And it’s not a hidden feature. Sometimes the church and his people do a good job of hiding it… Read More