"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Friday, February 20, 2004 Is it bringing us closer to Christ?
The more I think about it, the more I think that is the question we need to ask about EVERYTHING we do as the church. Is it bringing us -- us as a community, us as individuals, us as a society or even us as a planet -- closer to Christ?
Being away from ECM is great for getting perspective on what we've done the past 7 years. Sometimes I wonder if we're too busy ... overprogrammed. Maybe we need to scale back, make sure we're doing the things that we know are about bringing us closer to Christ. Maybe it's not about cutting back. Maybe it's just about making sure we're true to that focus.
And that doesn't mean not doing anything social or not having any fun. In fact, it might mean doing MORE of that ... but doing it with the intentionality of doing it to come closer to Christ. Really listening to each other when we're together. Really reaching out to new people. Really being thankful for the joy we get from being together. Really taking the time and the big 'ol scary risk of letting people into our lives, our dreams, our fears instead of being content to splash around on the surface.
As I get some space from ECM, I think there are ways that as the community's priest I've often been too busy with the activities of the community and not intentional enough about the kind of deep diving within those activities and within the everyday just being together that brings us closer to Christ.
Next year is going to be so exciting. We have so many wonderful seniors graduating and we'll miss them all, but it is a wonderful opportunity to remake the community because we KNOW we won't be the same.
Keep praying for me as I continue through this sabbatical. And know that I'm praying for you.
And know that I'm grateful and humbled by the ways you have brought me closer to Christ.
| Mike at 2/20/2004 10:50:00 PM
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."