As mentioned in the last post, last Sunday’s gathering was split into two parts. The following material is from the second part.
After investing a substantial amount of time on Vision and the “Great Commandment”, We explored the “How?” question. How will we labor together? Having a unity on vision without a unity on labor is pointless. In other words, no one cares where you are going if you argue the whole time. If we long for Christ Kingdom to Flourish, then our community (even if in small part) must be a picture of the desired destination.
G = Greet: The process of learning (asking good questions). Humbly observing each encounter with fresh eyes. “How are things“ “Are You OK?“ Sometimes people are rude because they have a headache (wouldn’t you prefer to be forgiven your impatience when you’re hurting). None of the scripture references below are perfect fits. However, the biblical concept of being “visited” (greeted) is powerful. The fundamental truth of God taking on flesh and “visiting” us is a complete re-orientation of thinking. If God, who is Holy, can greet us in our sinful condition, how shall we his ambassadors reflect this ministry?
S = Serve: This entire process is the antithesis to classic western “fix it first” mentality. We cannot truly help someone if we have not taken the time to ask good questions. This “service” is the demonstration of love in a context. Matthew 25:35-36 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
L = Love: Experiences solidify relationships. God “said“ and “showed“ his love. The primary means is His humiliation. He washed feet as an expression of Biblical truth. 1 John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
E = Equip: The time investment required to move from G to L can be as fast as 20 seconds (letting the mom with three crying kids go first) or it can take years (some wounds build high walls around trust). Regardless, once love is received the opportunity to “equip” develops. This equipping can be encouragement or correction. It is the moment when someone becomes teachable. “Hey, can I ask you a question?“ People don’t care what you know, till they know you care Romans 2:4 – Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
A Posture of LearningThe graph above must be converted from a linear to a circular process. This means we must “re-greet“ individuals we already know. We must acknowledge that every person lives in ever shifting circumstances. Humility accepts the potential for a new narrative to develop beyond our knowledge. Thus a posture of Grace toward each new encounter (especially in long-term relationships). Who knows, that guys from Highschool might not be a jerk after 15 years:) (maybe we are that guy)
Christians must be the first to embody the following Biblical truth.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:22-23
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.John 13:3-5