Monday, November 14, 2005

Helping establish the kingdom of God

This weekend has been very good, but very busy, we are going to try and have a slower paced week. I have heard it said that balance is the point you pass when swinging from one extreme to the other. Sunday went to my brothers baby shower it was nice, I am very excited about being an uncle. Later we had a great time with our group that gathers at our house on Sunday nights. Good discussion. We talked about our everyday lives, and the impact that it has on established the kingdom of God. This led to many other aspects of this such as what is the kingdom of God? Why is it Jesus spoke so much about establishing this kingdom, and very little about heaven? The kids engaged very well, and offered many thought provoking questions of their own. I am very excited about this, and feel challenged as well at making a difference.

I have been reminded while reading a book by Rob Bell "Velvet Elvis" (one of the best books I have read, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone), but many times our focus is making a difference in ministry instead of focusing all our energy on living as Christ, and engaging everyday in ways that will build his kingdom. You won't find this by adopting any new methodology, emerging or otherwise. This will come by engaging with his spirit and his Word. Yes so much is messed up with what others say and do in our faith. And many times while certain people may respond in ways that may be unconscionable to us, we must continue to embrace Jesus ways, and Life.

I am saddened and grieved by what some have written and said about the Kyle Lake tragedy, and even the emerging church movement. I am glad that I feel grief and sorrow, more than anger, judgment and bitterness. I must say that some of the things that I read made me sick to my stomach. While I certainly don't want to be thrown into the same category with them, I do want to try and figure out how Jesus would respond. I am also thinking of how he must feel, and try to even meditate on this more.

The only thing that I can equate this to is each time an advancement of establishing the kingdom of God, that great opposition, judgment, and persecution came with it. Think about it when Jesus came with a message of embrace, and unconditional acceptance, a man who engaged with people in a way that had never been seen before. He then was publicly humiliated, then killed. Or even Martin Luther, and his advancements that have had profound impact on people for generations to come.

For those of us God is calling to embrace what he is doing now we must stand tall, full of conviction, and move forward with passion, but also must not lash out even when others do this to us. I feel this will help to further what God is wanting to do in his next scene, or chapter, of the great and sometimes disturbing story that is being written.


Blogger nicholasfiedler said...

Yeah Velvet Elvis is on up there. I dig that all these guys seem to be into the same stuff. I was writing comments in the margin of my Velvet Elvis book and noting who I thought he sounded like or who sounded like him. It makes the whole movement more exciting to think about the combined energy of all these guys building off eachother or reading eachother, or just being shown the same sort of things.
Anywho, are we still on for Thursday? We are doing the intro and the first chapter of E&E right?

12:49 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

well said my friend. well said.

10:05 AM  
Blogger lpeden said...

well said Jeremy!
i just got through listening to Donald Miller's talk from Catalyst this morning on my way into work. WOW! i cried, then i laughed, then i cried some more. he is my new hero of faith, seriously! i connect with everything he says and the truth he shares totally convicts me to the core and to change! suggestion: share his CD with others on the team, especially Sean and Salena - i kept thinking of them for some reason throughout his talk and others on the v-team.
i'm so glad Sunday night (what are we calling it? :) just kidding!) went so well.

2:33 PM  

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