My redemptive community

October 3, 2006

Tonight we had church. We’ve been going through Ephesians and were in chapter 3 today. To be honest, I have not done my job in keeping up with the weekly readings, and today was no different as I looked over the first sections of chapter 3 only a few hours before we met. I found myself unsure of where the direction of the conversation would go tonight. But, as I need to be reminded, God is bigger than my worries… because tonight was really amazing.

We got caught up in discussing the fact that it was quite amazing that God desired to bring salvation to communities . Not only to Jews or only to Gentiles. And this unity in salvation was something the Church constantly struggled with, and we are seeing that in our study of Ephesians. This salvation though, is not just about a mere sin-management gospel where you are “set” for life upon praying some prayer. It’s something that as Paul says in Philippians, has to be constantly worked out in our lives. But how amazing is it that God desires to save us, and that community is SUCH a part of that. We referred back to Isaiah 19 (thanks to our apparent bible scholar-in-residence, Paul, not to be confused with the biblical writer) who noticed the theme of communal salvation with how God worked through the nations of Egypt and Assyria:

“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria , a blessing in the midst of the earth.” (Is. 19:23-24)

How awesome that this salvation (which in the OT always meant to be saved from something, not saved to Heaven, or saved from hell) was from alienation and seperation. And how amazing that this is the ministry of reconciliation brought for the Jews and Gentiles of the NT.

Kyle talked about how salvation needs to be seen through the lens of community; that we are together in this life, journeying towards a complete knowledge of Christ, in love for Him and love for others. God never called us to be saved alone, a part from community. But once we are in this saving community, we are then called to bring others into the same reconciling relationship with our Creator. And the cycle continues. Practically this works itself out by meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters. Meeting the needs of those in our surrounding neighborhoods/communities. Reconciling people to God by inviting them into relationship with the Church where they can be a part of continual redemption (of people… and even creation… one thing I love about Canada is the fact that people care about recycling!)

Kyle mentioned a story about a church that, following 9/11, had members that volunteered to walk Muslim and Hindu ladies to grocery stores because of the harrassment they were receiving. What a beautiful image of reconcoliation… sometimes I feel like we forget that as followers of Christ we now of this ministry of reconciliation. Instead of telling people they are simply saved from something, and set for eternity, let’s think about the fact that we have been saved FROM something, for the purpose of reconciling others to God, in the here and now. Let’s see our salvation as a part of something bigger than ourselves, something that is about continuing the ministry we have been given. I wonder what I would do differently if I constantly saw life through this perspective. I probably wouldn’t be so content with my idleness and lack of intentional community with people (believers or not). I would be more apt to see the needs of others, in my community and apart from it. I would be more joyful instead of so focused on the level of comfort (or uncomfort as I mentioned in a previous post) certain experiences would provide me… because it wouldn’t be about me… and now comes responsibility for this truth I have learned tonight… 🙂


One Response to “My redemptive community”

  1. Chelsey Argo Says:

    I enjoy reading your blog….I think of you from time to time and hope your experience is going wonderfully!!! I’m glad we got together before you left…Taylor and I (especially) really enjoy talking with you.

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