MAYBE WE AREN’T SO ODD AFTER ALL?

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There are times when I go to some established churches, or when I try and explain what we do as Mosaic Edinburgh that I end up feeling that as a church community we are frankly, a bit odd. There have been times when dreaming and working towards being part of a missional community has left me feeling alone and full of doubt. I don’t know if you have ever felt that way?

I had a very different and affirming experince from that today as I was reading Mike Frost’s book, “The Road To Missional.” I came across his descriiption of their community in Sydney Australia. Here it is

Every Sunday night the community to which I belong meets for a big meal together. We gather round low feasting tables and enjoy great food and conversations. We accept all comers, offering them a meal and wine and a seat at our table. We share our joys, our doubts and our fears. We celebrate our freedom and and speak openly of our alliegance to the Lordship of Jesus in the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine, symbolizing his supreme sacrifice and his death and resurrection as the ultimate shaper of our lives, both indvidual and together. Children run amok. Music is played. Laughter comes in bursts. The Bible is read and explained. We gather together in a spirit of celebration because we believe we have been rescued from one world which is fading into a new world that is unfurling, a world of laughter and bread and music and fellowship and inculsion and freedom.” p 144

Does that sound a lot like any community you know? Despite the thousands of miles that separate us, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between that description of what happens there in Sydney and what I experience Sunday by Sunday here in Edinburgh. The food, the laughter, the differences and yet feeling of inclusion, the commitment to living under Christ’s Lordship all of the time not just some of the time.

Mike’s words and his community reminded me that though I may some times feel it, we are not oddities, ploughing a lonely furrow all by ourselves, no we are part of movement. In fact I even dare to say a move of the Spirit. We are part of something that the Spirit is birthing which is new and yet old at the same time, an authentic missional expression of the People of God. All over the world groups just like us are trying to figure out what it means for church to be the People of God incarnating and serving the Kingdom of God in their culture rather than church being content with being about attendance at an event in a particular place.

Although we are small group, meeting in a smallish city in world terms, in a small country on the edge of Europe today I am encouraged by the thought that we are part of something bigger, much bigger,something significant that the Spirit is doing all over the world. All over the world groups of spiritual subversives are learning to live by the same missional beat we are trying to get in step with, that of gathering and going. I hope you feel inspired and affirmed by that too.

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One Response to MAYBE WE AREN’T SO ODD AFTER ALL?

  1. Ferial says:

    Certainly inspired to continue forging this path that will hopefully influence Church Communities within our city and all around the world to follow suite. As I was reading this blog entry I was reminded of a movie I once saw.

    It was about a volcano that erupted in a city and it really took the residents of this city by surprise. Inevitably, like in any good story there is always a hero and in this case the hero was someone who knew more than most people about the behaviour of volcanos because he had studied their patters for years and was indeed an expert. He also had a very competent team he was working with but their way of dealing with things was rather un-authodox and somewhat scoffed at by the geological community. He and his team had observed patterns that no-one else did and so calling them out on their faltered assessments and what they assumed were tried and tested theories was rather bold and cost him his good name within the geological community. He sacrificed his own position in the community as a respected scientist in order to forge forward with the truth. Saving lives was more important to him than his status or what people thought of him. He knew that what he was working on would someday be needed by the very ones who were now mocking him.

    So, the volcano erupted and true to form everyone starts panicking and reacting to the lava that is now fast approaching the city. All the emergency services are called in and they begin strategising and come up with a solution I like to call ‘sand bagging’. In the meantime they all get frustrated with him because he is not jumping in and helping with their strategy.

    You see he and his team know something the others didn’t. Yes, the volcano has erupted and their is hot, molten lava heading their way but a volcano that size is not just done yet. The big Momma is about to blow for a second time and the results will be catastrophic. He and his team then gather a small number of people who also see this deeper truth and they begin to build a dam wall around the city so that when it does erupt for a second time their is not just small barriers but a massive barrier that will re-direct the lava into the nearby valley that connects with the sea, thereby saving the city.

    Does this scenario sound familiar. What most christian churches and church communities around the globe are busy with I would liken to the ‘sand bagging’. Please don’t misinterpret this because I don’t think that they are doing anything wrong I do however think they are reacting and coming up with strategies that are not necessarily going to last or transform society as we know it. There are deeper truths that we still don’t get about who God is and who we are as the the Church. The reason for this is that we cannot possibly fathom that un-authodox might be where these truths are found. Like the hero in the story and his crew, there is however an awakening happening. Let’s call them a remnant of God followers if you like from all across the globe that are seeing parts of these deeper truths and responding to this.

    Our call is to build this dam wall that will transform society as we have come to know it. We are definitely not alone. I believe The Holy Spirit is at the lead of this movement and as we continue to share and be open and willing to at least explore un-authodox, I believe we will find these deeper truths. Sometimes it won’t pan out and sometimes it will. May we always be lead by His Spirit because the Bible says that those who are lead by The Spirit of God are truly called the Sons of God.

    Love & Blessings to our community and all other communities like ours around the world. May we never think we are better or know more but may we always remain in His Service, building the wall for ALL of God’s people.

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