Justin preached on community this past Sunday. That topic is dear to my heart, and I think it was a very important sermon for our community. I have the outline and just a few of my notes below. If you would like, the entire sermon is available on iTunes. Just search Christ Church Brenham from the iTunes store.
The sermon is part 3 of a three week series on the core values of our church, which are proclamation, service, and community.
We believe that the Christian faith is a call to Community.
Therefore we embody the Gospel by living a shared life of intimacy, hospitality, and generosity as we establish a family of pilgrims on a journey of faith together. (This is something beyond "hanging out." Intimacy requires honesty and vulnerability, and our example is the Trinity. Hospitality is "love of stranger.")
GOD exists in COMMUNITY. The Trinity has existed eternally together in perfect harmony, with perfect unity and perfect individuality.
GOD created us to live in COMMUNITY. After God made the earth, seas, sun, moon, plants and animals, "it was good." But what was not good? "For man to live alone." Part of what it means to be made in the image of God is to be made for community.
GOD’S gifts are realized in COMMUNITY. You may have been made as a finger, shoulder, or pinky toe. To fully realize your created purpose, you need the body. If you feel isolated and purposeless, this may be why. And the body suffers without its members. Your church needs you.
GOD’S blessings are enjoyed in COMMUNITY. I was with Betty in the nursery for this point. Sorry; no notes.
GOD’S mission is completed through COMMUNITY. See Jesus' High Priestly prayer, John 17. 20"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." We are to be one LIKE the Trinity, SO THAT we may be in God, SO THAT the world may believe. More here.
THREE FINAL THOUGHTS:
COMMUNITY is not an excuse. (to avoid solitude, to speak without discretion)
COMMUNITY is not a country club. (not for ourselves only, we can be in community with people who are very different from us, it is used as an outreach)
COMMUNITY is not a substitute. (time with friends complements but does not substitute for community with God Himself)
I encourage you to listen to this full sermon. And if you don't have it, go get yourself some community. Blessings.
Are you in my head? Dang it. So this has been and I assume will continue to be a strong lesson for me. I actually wrote about it today on my blog. My heart is broken in so many ways on this. I miss the ease of community. Not at all even in the church (although that is usually where my mind goes first because we had a rockin small group who I love love love). But then even to my "regular" friends and random strangers that I would bump into and end up having coffee with. Where is that here? Really...It is like when I say something like "hotdog" or "Target". It isn't wrong or bad, it is just that I then have to spend 15 extra minutes over explaining my original point and then it doesn't matter anymore. I really think I am a social imbecile.
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