September 5, 2017
Sharing an office with pastor Greg often times leads to sharing teaching ideas, which can lead to sharing a common heart. As we were discussing his upcoming August 27 teaching, and listening to him passionately pour it out on the podcast, my fire to start new churches, to reach new people, was doused with gasoline. If you were not at the service and have yet to listen to the podcast, please stop reading this, listen to that, and then you can resume reading this blog. To briefly recap, Greg walked through the section of a letter we know as Philippians, chapter 3, verses 4-11 to be exact, highlighting that the writer, Paul, desires above everything else “to know Christ.” Circle and underline and highlight the word, “know,” because it is loaded! The Greek word for “know” is genosko, with the Hebrew equivalent being yada (pronounced yay-dah), which includes an intellectual knowledge and expands into experientially knowing. To have a first-hand, life-altering, hair-on-your-arms-standing-up kind of knowing. A soul-shaking, I will dance unabashedly in the driveway kind of experience, which transforms the way we see everything. Is that clear enough for you? Excellent!
It was 23 years ago that yada jilted me out of a disgusted view of the church and religion, and launched me into embracing and dancing with the living Christ. From there I experienced a clear, unavoidable call to create space for the irreligious, religiously burned out, and overly religious to crash into Christ by means of yada. To follow in the footsteps of Abraham in Genesis 12, and prepare to launch new kinds of faith communities to reach a whole new world.
Abraham was called to leave everything he had known, everything that was comfortable to him, in order to become a new kind of nation that would bless the entire world.
Abraham was called to leave the past in order to create the future.
He was invited to yada the Divine voice humming within his inmost being, and his faith moved his feet to say, “Yes!” Not only did Abraham not have all the answers with this new plan, he didn’t have any answers. Yet he responded to the Divine call with the one answer needed to transform the world as we know it; “Yes!”
Which takes us back to Greg’s teaching, and the unequivocal call for the church to be a family on a mission of Loving God and Loving Neighbor. The world continues to crack and divide, and people resort to violence for solutions. The meta-movement of the Scriptures is the Divine putting all things back together through Love, and God’s chosen instrument for this movement is the church, the body of Christ. You and me Loving God and Loving Neighbor. Whether red or yellow, black or white, ALL are precious in His sight.
Victory through violence is the language of Caesar. Boasting in bombs and wielding the biggest and most weapons is the engine of empire. The church has to resist this way and instead choose to yada THE Way. We are to commit to Christ, which is choosing to be knit to Christ.
The redemption of the world does not come by the eradication of evil people but through the propagation of a faithful family. People who choose to yada Christ, as Christ has chosen to yada us. (If by chance you find yourself disagreeing, I encourage you to see Genesis 6 on the attempt to eradicate evil people and Genesis 12 for the move to be a faithful family).
To Love God and Love Neighbor is who the church, you and I, are called to be. I am all in for that. To yada Christ is what gets me out of bed in the morning, and when I am faithful to this way, it is what allows me to peacefully lay my head on the pillow at night.
May you, even today, yada Christ. And may your faith lead your feet to say, “Yes” to the call that follows.
Grace & Peace,
Church Planting Resident