"Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God" - Exodus 5:3
Blog Posts: 2021
Below are some posts from some weekly updates that we though we could circle around to from time to time!
photo credit: Dreamstime.com
You are a piece of artwork!
I have always been impressed by the work of sculptors! This ancient profession has turned into so much modern art including photography, paintings and drawing to name only a few. This photo above captures an artist chipping away stone to craft a beautiful bearded man. Imagine the time it took to make this and the process of acquiring these skills. What is even more beautiful is the imagination that the artist holds so perfectly in his or her mind. They know what they are creating and hold onto that image in their minds with every artistic scrape, chip and crevasse their tools make.
When I think about formation in Christ, God making us into the image of His Son Jesus, I think of this picture. God holds his image of us in his heart and mind. The image of our “glory” selves untainted from sin and fully satisfied in Jesus. There are times when these “glory” selves poke out and show their beauty. The “glory” self is one that will exist one day in heaven after we are received by Jesus. There are times when heaven pokes through and we get glimpses of the person we are becoming. Do you experience those times when you feel like you are living and functioning as God desires and has designed you for? The joy and peace come out unexpectedly?
If you can take this image of God as sculptor and allow this to be your image of formation, I believe it will help you walk towards him. Every bit of God’s work in your life goes into making who you are. We simply respond to his authority and skill by cooperating with him. The major ways we can cooperate with God are 3-fold: 1) we can join the Church through baptism and commit to his body on earth. 2) we can work towards intentionally building relationships in the church so that we can share our burdens, joys and life transitions, and 3) we can learn his Word through Bible Study and daily prayer. Fellowship, Worship and Bible Study form the ways in which we participate in this crafting and sculpting of God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:28-29)
Be Welcomed, Formed and Sent into the World with this system of Discipleship:
Fellowship (Welcome Groups): In our welcome groups, you can find some time to simply belong and grow in relationships with others. This is a great way to invite your friends and neighbors into a loving community that can change their lives.
Bible Study/ Application (Formation Groups): In our formation groups we encourage everyone to discover and apply biblical truths to their lives. To do this, we regularly orient ourselves to God’s living Word so that he can transform our thinking and our living. These groups may be the most foundational areas of life change because we grow in our understanding of God’s heart and his desire for our lives and his purpose in the world. This is also a major area to find support for the daily pressure of your vocation, life changes, parenting, marriage, and service to Jesus.
Worship (Sunday Worship): This is the area of every Christian that is really a non-negotiable need. Being with God’s people, hearing God’s word read and preached, and receiving the Sacraments is foundational for basic Christian living. There are no lone-ranger Christians, and in our baptism, we are incorporated into the Body of Christ which functions as the womb of Christian growth and nurture.
Shoot for all three!
To best orient to this life in Christ, we need a holistic approach for life change. We need our hearts affected by embracing a loving community, we need our minds affected through the renewal of God’s Word and we need our actions changed through new habits and actions. If we are embracing the church at all three levels listed above, there will be powerful life change and healthy relationships to sustain this life in Christ. Every member of Emmanuel Anglican Church ought to work towards being a part of these groups if they are able.
If you cannot attend all three, please make every effort to attend a formation group and weekly worship. With a mid-week connection with loving friends and weekly worship, God will sustain your faith as you commit to him.