Looking Back (with Some Message Reflection)
I hope you had a great weekend. My family spent most of it indoors due to the yucky weather, but we played with the girls and watched lots of football.
Sunday morning I attended the BCC Bloggers Summit. This consisted of meeting Dirk Plantinga for coffee at Fourbucks. It was really cool meeting him, and we talked about anything and everything. Not just church stuff, but mostly church stuff. ;-) We had a great time.
I think one of the fruits of this conflict I'm already noticing is that people are actually meeting more of their church neighbors. There is a real sense of "going through this" together. So maybe you are losing a good weekend speaker for a time, but maybe you'll be gaining some friends for life.
Bill West spoke on "Finding God When Life is Confusing" this weekend. I thought he did an excellent job of not just tying the concepts into our corporate struggle, but our individual struggles, as well. It spoke to me, anyway.
I thought I would look back at the main points of his message for a bit and apply them even more specifically to church matters. (You can see the completed message outline here.)
When life is confusing, you can run from it, ignore it, or choose to step into it. Think about what the literal body of Christ did when He was here. He had ample opportunity to run from the inevitable conclusion of his life and ministry. He could have ignored his calling. But Christ chose to enter the trouble of this world, to grow up in a troubled time, to leave a quiet, "respectable" vocation to begin proclaiming God's kingdom, and to give up his very life. Are the believers who make up the Body of Christ now present on earth prepared to do the same?
Stepping into the confusion means:
Acknowledging my own struggle -- Is this not the first principle of the Gospel? Admit your own sin? Confess that all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, including you and me.
Honor and respect the struggle of others -- There's lots of Commandments application here, in the second table in particular. Honor your parents. Don't covet. You know, "love your neighbor"-type stuff. Bear each others' burdens-type stuff.
Focus my attention -- "But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD; in you I take refuge..." (Psalm 141:8).
What God may be up to:
God may be challenging your perspective -- Will our church be so shortsighted backways and front that we think the Church began on the back of a napkin and that it can't carry on without one particular speaker?
God may want to move you into action -- I'm already hearing that this ordeal has prompted many folks to get more involved in the church, to give of their gifts and talents. Church really isn't a spectator sport.
God may want to demonstrate that He is God -- Or, more directly, He may want to remind those who act like they've forgotten, that He is God. Everybody wants a Savior; nobody wants a Lord.
God may want to remind you that He will take care of you regardless -- Do you know that God loves His Church? That He doesn't give a rip about buildings or budgets, but that in the same way He loves individuals, He cherishes the Son's Bride those individuals constitute. Whatever we go through -- and it will get tougher than this thing -- we are assured He will present us purified on the wedding day.
God may want to show you His glory in a way you will never forget -- The "trouble" of the Gospel is that you gotta go through the cross to get to the resurrection. I don't know why it has to work that way, but it does. Whatever our church is going through, whatever we are all going through personally, we must accept that it is somehow contributing to God's glory, and we must trust that God is taking us through it to bring us out stronger, more faithful, and more at peace. Enduring a trial glorifies God; coming out of that trial having endured it brings glory to God.
I believe Bellevue Community Church can be a community of great faith that brings glory to God. Do you believe that?