This past weekend we talked about corporate habits. Habits that we do as a community don’t really top the list of “most thought about” concerns! Changing our diet, picking up the habit of exercising or shutting our phone/computers down at 9:00 pm…these are things WE CAN CONTROL!! But, choosing to participate in a group habit….that doesn’t sound extremely appealing. In fact, over the past year, many of us have gotten away from doing anything in a group outside of our immediate family! Now that doors are opening again, and life outside the 4 walls of our homes is becoming more accessible and safer…what do we do with our church life? Is it important to return to the church building when I can attend in my pajamas at home?
The habits we talked about implementing into our lives this weekend don’t exclude those who want to attend online or favor those that attend in person, they focus in on our hearts and our willingness to reach out to others no matter our venue.
It’s important to celebrate! We do it all the time outside the church; birthdays, anniversaries, sports wins, graduations, weddings, and the list could go on! When it comes to church what does celebrating look like? Steve shared with us celebration actually comes from the Hebrew word Hallelujah! When we raise our voices together in celebration, we are corporately expressing our gratitude to God, and GOD LOVES THIS! Yes, we can do it alone, but in Ephesians we read that we are to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves and make music to the Lord in your hearts! Notice that “s” plurally we are called to sing and praise together!
Romans 12:15 says to “be happy with those who are happy, (it’s easy to do this) and weep with those who weep” It’s not quite as easy to weep with those who weep, this takes a deeper connection…more than just a celebratory one. How do we get these deeper relationships in our lives? Through connection, community, celebrating together (either thru the chat portion of the online experience or out in the courtyard after a service on campus, perhaps in a Life Group or Bible study, or maybe even through serving on a team at Alive) We like to call this: DOING LIFE TOGETHER!
Jason shared with us that he saw the outcome of lives lived in community with others over the past few weeks. It’s in sometimes our deepest most painful moments that bring us into community and help us realize the importance of caring for those around us. When Jason and his family arrived at the home of a family that lost their son tragically in a car accident, there were campers and cars everywhere. People traveled miles to support this family in their loss, making meals, caring for the farm animals, making sure the other kids were where they needed to be and when, cleaning house, etc. This kind of love and connection doesn’t come from just attending a service on a weekend…this comes from doing life together, getting to know each other deeply, asking the hard questions, laughing and crying together!
Fellowship starts with KNOWING one another!
The final corporate habit that we talked about was generosity. Now, most often in a church setting people hear the word generosity and they think…GIVING MONEY! Giving financially is important BUT being generous is about much more it’s about being present (and open) with our lives, talents, and our time!
We can model our generous lives after Jesus and how he lived and served people. I find it interesting that we teach our children to share….WHY do we do that? I think one major reason is most of us don’t want our children to become narcissistic snobs when they grow up. But ultimately, it’s a characteristic of God so we want them to learn it young and to hold on to it all their lives. We can introduce people to God just by being generous with our time!
2 Corinthians 9:13 tells us “As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ” OUR GENEROSITY PROVES WE ARE OBEDIENT TO CHRIST! That’s HUGE!
Let’s try to pray this everyday….OPEN MY EYES to BE LIKE YOU JESUS!
If you want to watch the God Talks messages from this past weekend, click here.