Christian Discipleship 9

Memory is important. It’s one of the weaknesses of our culture. We don’t have many rituals in our lives that remind us of eternal truths. Remember how God was faithful to Israel and to you? Baptisms are a good reminder, but we don’t have much else. The stuff that happened in the Old Testament is our history too. It’d be cool if we recognized that. It’s the same God that we have now.

First off, I tend to forget why I do things or believe in certain things. Obedience to God confuses me sometimes, but I’ve learned from the readings that obedience comes from hope. We obey because we believe it’s leading us to the best possible thing. God’s not this cosmic tyrant where if we disobey we’ll be punished. So much joy comes from the joy God has in us. Something happens when we open ourselves up to the joy. It’s very expressive of hope. Death, fear, and pain don’t have the final say. There’s hope in Jesus Christ, which is precisely why we obey God. Hope and a release of control comes from having faith. I need this reminder.

Second, God works with community. This is perhaps the greatest truth I’ve come to internalize as a result of this class. All the Old Testament is God working with all of Israel. God is mediated to us through other people. That’s why we need community. That’s how God accesses us. We’re supposed to be in community. We’re also made to mediate God to others through community. The body of Christ does not function properly unless it has all of its prerequisite parts. It’s a deep biblical theological truth. One can’t just be hanging out with a bunch of elbows. God needs the body to not only access me, but the world, and I’ve always taken a liking to the change of the world. However, this notion of community is not natural for me. It would be much easier for me to live a “Christian” life in solitude. But I think we should beware of the person that constantly wants to be alone, and beware of the person that constantly wants to be in community. The Kingdom of God is a happening, not a place and we can help make that glory happen. We can be apart of that. We’re given the privilege of being mediators of God’s glory. It’s like praying for other people. We do it because we’re called to community. God works with community. We do it because it works. There’s this dialectic between God being infinitely far away and infinitely close, and I think I’m coming closer to making peace with that fact. I need a god that transcends my flaws, that goes beyond what I know because I know so little. But, I also need a god that I can follow, and God is the King of Kings. He’s just what we need. I forget that the Creator of the universe loves me. The closer I get to fully understanding this, the more my life is bound to change. We discover our true selves in love. I need to wake up and choose that love rather than my fear. Fear immediately erects a wall that pushes us away from relationships, but our lives are transformed when we learn to live in relationship with one another. This is so profound to me because I’ve hidden myself from people for so long. Love is a long-term commitment. It takes patience. Our relationships become shallow and so short-lived because we’re impatient and afraid, but we can all relax because God calls us to love, and He loves us always. God is relational; therefore I am called to be relational.

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