Thursday, May 10, 2012

Joined Together

Our scriptures for this sixth Sunday in Easter are John 15:1-17, 1 John 5:1-6, and Acts 10:44-48, which can be read here.

We are engaging two key scriptures this week that address what it means to live in community even amidst diversity, and how living this way acts as a witness to who the risen Christ is: the image of the Vine and the Branches, a deeply connected community with love flowing through its marrow; and the story of the Holy Spirit falling on all people and binding them together as those of whom Jesus can say (as he did in John 15:16), "You did not choose me, but I chose you."

Living together is complex, to say the least. I know I preach and write about this all the time, but it's just because...well, it is hard! As one great Peanuts cartoon of the past eloquently put it, "I love humanity; it's people I can't stand." How often do we feel this way even with those closest to us--perhaps especially with those closest to us, those seated just a row or two over on Sunday morning even?

The first half of this week I was privileged to attend a conference in Washington, DC entitled "Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity." This gathering of over 500 people came together to consider, essentially, the church for a new generation--what do we need to do to continue to abide together and to strengthen our connections, to help our youth and kids--and our adults!--form deep, abiding, lasting relationships with Christ and Christ's body?

In lieu of writing something new here, if this sounds interesting to you I would encourage you to check out this series of blogs I wrote for Baptists Today.

A New Kind of Ministry

Asking New Questions

A New Kind of Letter

A New Artistic Vision

This is a different sort of blogging than I usually do here, but I think the concepts I encountered at the conference dovetail nicely with the things we need to be asking ourselves about our witness and our life together in light of these passages. As always, I look forward to diving into them with you on Sunday!

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