Posted by: Ed | November 3, 2008

A SMARTER US & THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

This weekend we wrapped up our RELATIONAL I.Q. series. It was a weird weekend in some ways because of course Friday night was the Halloween. For the 1st time in I don’t know how long (at least the 8+ years I’ve been at Journey) we didn’t have our massive Halloween deal, the Family Fall Festival. But Halloween being on a Friday meant we had a service (we were off about 40% which make the dynamic weird). If you are keeping count that’s 3 weird things. The primary reason we didn’t have the FFF was to support the “The CALL” a prayer for the nation & particularly the gay marriage issue. That made for a different sort of weekend of course – no surf on Saturday. I was there for about 5 hours. I’ll blog separately on my experience at the Call. There was no Charger game this weekend & it clearly bumped up our attendance today. That’s a little disturbing – another subject for another time. Here are a few more reflections on a weird but great weekend.
•    THIS WAS AN IMPORTANT JOURNEY MESSAGE – We have no problem wearing the “seeker church” label. I think we do that in a unique way, but I believe the assumptions & underlying ideas, I & we fully embrace. That being said, we tend to have lots of people who hang around for a long time without diving in. I meet them weekly. I’ve been looking forward to talk about “USNESS”.

•    BACK TO THE JAMES DRAWING BOARD – On Thursday I scrapped where I was going & the research I had done up to that point & decided that we needed to be back in the uber-practical book of James. I love how much James is about US. Personally, the geek in me likes James because his Greek is filled with Hebraisms & unique words. Also, James is the epistle that most seems to be an interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount.

•    WRECKED BY THE BAPTISM VIDEO – we thought this was the perfect weekend to show our Baptism video. I saw everyone dabbing their eyes. It should be posted tomorrow on Vimeo. Search Dan Stevers. It was maybe the best ever. I loved Tom talking about baptizing all those kids from his Jr High small group.
•    WORSHIP… DINERO! I loved our worship / music set this weekend. We closed with “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”. Props to all the worship leaders re-introducing great hymns to the contemporary church.

•    POINTS I DROPPED – There is so much in James on increasing our corporate Relational I.Q. Here’s a few…
o    SHHH – James 1:19 on being quick to hear, slow to speak
o    GET MOVING – We live out our faith by serving & sharing with others in the us (see the 2nd half of chapter 2)
o    There could have been a separate point on complaining from Chapter 5
o    I would have loved to do more connecting the Acts church (which James seemed to be the leader of – See Acts 15) and the regular guy changing the world idea of “Elijah a man of the same nature as us”.

It ended up being a great weekend & a great series. One of our Friday night regulars said she was thinking about coming back Sunday but felt weird. Heck, I was glad to be there three times.

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Responses

  1. As I mentioned to you Ed, I LOVED this sermon and keep mulling it over. (I should have come back Sunday…)

    I was so struck by your comment the “risky downside of doing Us.” For whatever reason, I find diving into this community very RISKY. The first time I ever responded on this blog, I worried the congregation would stone me and the first time I ever spoke to you, Ed, I burst into tears, even though I wasn’t sad and you’re not that scary. To be part of an US is so what my heart desires yet it seems to tap into primitive fears of rejection and attachment long left over from the past. I loved how you put it: the church is a ministry of reconciliation for humans who have been estranged from God (and perhaps family/tribe). I find it very easy to connect with people on a social/surface level but it’s the sacred, intimate connection that means so very much more. And perhaps that is why it feels like a risk. The stakes are Higher. But, if “Jesus is trying to train us to be a new kind of community, not just a religious version of the world’s various communities,” it should be “a safer place that looks like His kind of Us.” I like that.

    What a wonderful experience to tap into a community where people strive to be Christ-like. Of course we’re not perfect and baggage interferes. But if I can keep risking that “messy authenticity”, then like the Velveteen Rabbit, I can become more real. Find the master piece underneath the mud or the pearl inside the shell.

    Every now and then I tap into a type of child consciousness (no I don’t suffer from a split personality disorder). She thinks the people at church are kind and that you, Ed are Jesus in a different kind of sandal. I tell her, no, Ed is not Jesus and kind people sometimes flub up. But she very much longs for this Us-ness and she can feel God everywhere. If only the adult in me could learn to be more like the child. I think Jesus wanted us that way in spirit.

    Thank you for an awesome sermon.

    On a different note, I think All Saint’s Day added to the “weirdness” of the weekend (for me anyway) as one reflects on those who have passed away.


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