Imagine the People of God

"I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old ones shall dream dreams, and your young ones shall see visions. "

Joel 2: 28-32

What does community look like that is living out its call to be the “people of God?” In this four week series, we are asked by our inspirational theme song to “Imagine the People of God” that care, share, believe, receive, seek, dream and change. Readings from the Epistle letters to early Christian communities will help us enter into this conversation that is as old as Christianity itself. Let’s come together to imagine and create better relationships, better family, better church, better world!

Compassion

May 27, 2018

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any
fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me
truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working
together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be
humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own
interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus
had..." Philippians 2:1-10 (NLT)


Our theme song continues with an image of a community of compassion, “caring, sharing God’s
love in the world.” Indeed, from the early Hebrew practices of leaving the gleanings of harvest for
the poor, to Jesus’ commission to care for “the least of these,” compassion is the true measure of a
community as the Body of Christ. The scriptures ask us, “is your heart tender and compassionate?”


What will be answer? And what will we discover about how good life can be when compassion is at
our core?

Transformation

June 2, 2018

"So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating,
going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering... Don’t become so
well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.
You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what God wants from you, and quickly respond to
it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best
out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." -- • Romans 12 (MSG)

Just because we can imagine the people of God as the idyllic description of our theme song, does not
mean that we are there yet! These words from the song, “seeking the way of Jesus Christ, trusting
the courage to change,” remind us that this is a process of moving in the direction of a better
community. The good news is that we are not just endowed with imagination, but we can rely on the
courage God gives us to be the change we want to see in the world.

Fruition

June 10, 2018

"For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others
as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom...But what happens when we live God’s
way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an
orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a
willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a
basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal
commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies
wisely." -- • Galatians 5:13-23 (MSG)

Our last worship experience in this series invites us to reflect on the fruits of our imagining the
“kin-dom of God”–the family of God–in right relationship. What does it look like to be a community
who is “ believing, receiving, becoming God’s love,” and who can sing with exuberance, “we are
your people, O God!” Our scripture from Galatians offers up an image of what this looks like and
we offer our lives in “loyal commitment” to this vision.

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