Today’s Bible reading

Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. – Ephesians 4:15-17

More thoughts for meditation

Seduced by political power, many Christians in the last century thought they could maintain the United States as a safe place for their children to be Christians. Rod Dreher admits they were badly mistaken and now should look to the Benedict Option to restore some semblance of hope for the future. For one thing, since we were made to love each other, Christians need to engage in a much more intense community life, but it won’t be easy. He writes:

“The fate of religion in America is inextricably tied to the fate of the family, and the fate of the family is tied to the fate of the community. In her 2015 book How the West Really Lost God, cultural critic Mary Eberstadt argues that religion is like a language: you can learn it only in community, starting with the community of the family. When both the family and the community become fragmented and fail, the transmission of religion to the next generation becomes far more difficult. All it takes is the failure of a single generation to hand down a tradition for that tradition to disappear from the life of a family and, in turn, of a community. Eberstadt is one of a long line of religious thinkers to recognize that when concrete embodiments of the relationship to God crumble, it becomes very hard to hold on to Him in the abstract.”

In our Map we say:  We are a unique people who have been formed into a missional culture. We are “good trees” determined to “bear good fruit.” Then we go on to describe who we are. We have a strong feeling of community, and we also have a strong description of it.

Suggestions for action

What is the state of your birth family? It may have been fragmented when you were a child. It may feel distant or close, now. What has your family taught you, explicitly or implicitly, about how to live? As you pray about the, does god want to use those lessons or repair something?

What do you think Circle of Hope teaches children about the body of Christ? They will pick it up more than learn it as a lesson, for the most part. What is your part in passing the faith to them? This also goes for babies in the faith – there are people who just got to know Jesus in our constituency.

Imagine our five congregations as neighborhoods of a village. How does everyone connect? How do we learn? What do we do that characterizes who we are? Let God show you answers.