Monday, April 23, 2012

Practicing the Way of Jesus 2

Here's a great video intro to the book our micro church is going through

Friday, April 20, 2012

Practicing the Way of Jesus

There wasn't any intentionality in this, but apparently I've been fasting from blogging.  Not saying that it's about to completely change, but I did want to post this today.

Since the beginning of the year, our church has been walking through the life of Jesus.  It's been a great time of learning and growth for me, and one of the biggest takeaways from it has been the fact that Jesus modeled the way that life was meant to be lived.  He lived a life of beauty, creativity and freedom.  He wasn't a slave to sin or people's expectations.  He never missed moments, and he was the most dependent (on God) person who ever lived.

Here's what's amazing, though.  He did more than model this life.  If that's all he had done, then woe is me, because I would have constantly flip-flopped between pride and despair.  On days I did well, I would think pretty highly of myself.  But on the days when I fell short, which would be most days, I would quickly lose heart.  So Jesus did more than model life.  He also invited us into his life (Matthew 11:28-29).   

It's one thing to believe that a different way of living life is possible.  Actually living it out is something entirely different.  The belief piece is hugely critical, but it can't stop there.  We have to have opportunities to practice.  And we need a community of people to practice with.  I am grateful that I have both.

My micro church at NC just started reading a book together, but it's not a typical discussion group.  The book is Practicing the Way of Jesus, by Mark Scandrette.  We had the first of six sessions on Wednesday night.  Each week we are going to be embarking on a 7-day experiment.  This week's experiments are on the topic of security.  Some of the experiments that our community members are taking on are:
  • Gratitude - writing down 10 things each day (with no repeats) that we're thankful for
  • Time/Money Journal - I do this already with money, so I thought I would do it with time.  I downloaded this spreadsheet template and am keeping up with what I am doing in 30 minute increments.  It's going to be very telling.
  • Sabbath - taking a day (or half day) of rest
  • Simplify - live off less than you currently spend in a week, and give away what you didn't spend
  • Buy fair trade and local - Mandy and I are doing this as well.  We're educating ourselves this week.  I'm very excited to make some changes in this area.
I believe that Jesus offers something different from the world.  But I believe that we need to heed what Paul said in Romans 12 - fight conformity to the pattern of this world.  We're creatures of habit, and our inclination is to drift.  We're going to have to fight conformity, and lean into God and one another for real change.  I'm grateful to Jesus for modeling and inviting, and, once again, I'm grateful for the community that God's allowed me to be a part of.