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    Entries in Christ (2)

    Tuesday
    Sep092014

    A Warming

    Soul awakes.
    Heart aflame.
    Love flows.
    Sin fades.
    Christ reigns.
    Kingdom, near.
    Call, clear.
    Good news.
    Favor, all.
    Blind, see.
    Jubilee.

    Originally posted to Twitter. Connect there: @bsimpson.

    Monday
    Jan062014

    Hello, My Name is Christ

    Photo by nicnac1000

    You might have caught the Huffington Post article "Hello, My Name is Church" cycling through social media. If you didn't, read it. It's worth the time. The Unappreciated Pastor captures everything we've heard or thought about Church, and maybe even some things we have experienced. The turn is briliant: confession and repentance. The invitation is clear: "God wants you here...I miss you. I love you. I'm sorry. Can't wait to see you."

    As a member of the church, for all those who have been outcast, hurt, afflicted, rejected, spurned, or forgotten, I would personally like to invite you to come and join our fellowship.

    But beyond a gathering or an organization, I invite you to Christ.

    Let us never forget that Jesus did not command us to go and start churches. He commanded us to go and make disciples. Christ died to make Church possible, yes! Of course. But there is more. He did not die, resurrect, ascend, and send us off to be about our business, to be inspired by his teachings, left striving to do our best and reliant on our own power. When Christ is with us, there is another presence, a power. His life. Him. Jesus charged his followers with teaching all who would come after him to do as he did and said, to baptize in his name, to never forget that he remains with us, and that all authority is his.

    While churches, when at their best, seek out and welcome those that have been lost or disposed of, we must never cease to recall that the invitation to return is first and foremost an invitation, a beckoning, from the one who calls us in the first place. It is not enough to call people back to Church. We must call them back to Christ. We must call ourselves back to Christ. We, the Church, must turn and say, "Hello, Jesus. We've wandered. Sorry. Help us."

    And even before we turn, it is Jesus preceding us, saying, "Hello, My Name is Christ. Remember?"

    He was not only shamed, beaten, killed, and resurrected so that Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male and female could worship together in the same room. He underwent all those things for you, and for the glory of his Father.

    If a congregation has seen Christ, has truly beheld him, I can promise you that church will not be perfect. But I can promise you that they will know that they are not perfect. And to the degree that Christ is indeed proclaimed as Master, I can assure you that that company of disciples will challenge, sharpen, strengthen, and humble you, in so far as your collective confidence is placed in him. These people, this church, may be messed up, but they are being renewed in their inmost being; their lives are hidden in Christ with God.

    The one who calls you is Christ himself. He extends his greeting. His hand is outstretched. Say hello.