NEWS & NOTES
At our diaconate meeting a few weeks ago, conversation turned to the upcoming Incarnation Class on Sept. 29. And one of our leaders blurted out: "Our new folks have an Incarnation Class. But I feel like some of us who've been around for a while need a re-Incarnation Class."
Those words resonated immediately. Of course, we're not Buddhists, so resurrection might be a better fit then reincarnation. But the sentiment remains. Many of us who have called The Painted Door Church home for several years must re-imagine why we walk out our faith together. We need a fresh vision for what our communal life in Christ can be.
Some aspects of that fresh vision seem to be forming. At our community group training last Saturday, we spent the time discussing how it is that Christians grow up spiritually. Our church tends to serve newer believers and longstanding believers well. But how do we walk with people from immaturity into maturity?
That's a question we'll be aiming to address in significant measure in the months ahead. And the epistle of James will be our guide for much of that discussion. James is a New Testament book about Christian maturity. It's about the process of having our faith in Christ propel us into new ways of acting in the world. In short, it's about incarnation, the life of God filling human flesh.
Please join me in praying that our time in this book will yield fruits of maturity in our church -- specifically, the incarnation of Christ among those young in the faith, and his re-incarnation among those older and more weary.
- Pastor Mark
THIS COMING SUNDAY:
MEMBERS OF JESUS
Pastor Mark Bergin
Who am I? This is the defining question of the human experience. Without an identity, our lives lack meaning, direction, even coherence. We must know who we are. Yet careful examination of our own personhood--our passions, abilities, fears, hopes, etc.--can provide a disconcerting answer. In and of myself, I have many deviant passions, many lacking abilities, many crippling fears, many misplaced hopes. On my own, my identity is in shambles. But what if who I am was never meant to be determined independently? What if I was always meant to be defined in relation to others--and most importantly, in relation to God? The message of the Christian gospel is that my independent and broken self, the shambles that is me, is not my true identity. All of my crumbling personhood has been sutured into the very body of Jesus Christ. And attached to him, all of that inadequacy is overwhelmed by his more than adequate body. Every passion in him is pure, every ability present, every fear overcome, every hope sure. All that Jesus is defines me, because I am united to him.