A Hopeful People: Entering a Season of Yearning

Christmas candlesphoto © 2008 Charles Stanford | more info (via: Wylio)The past several years, I have grown increasingly disillusioned with the institutional church as I have grown increasingly committed to the way of Jesus.  My theology has become very simple. “Love the lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself”, pretty much sums it up for me.  I have grown tired of dogma and doctrinal debates.  I long for a community that invests more energy in living the great commandment than it does protecting its self from those who do not share its theology.

This time of year that longing is intensified.  In his message this morning, Rev Bob Partlow reminded us that advent is a season of yearning; yearning for the incarnate God who ushers in the kingdom here on earth.  He shared his yearning for God’s kingdom that is yet to come; a kingdom where babies do not die of preventable disease or where children do not starve in world of abundance.   He also shared his longing for the kingdom that is near to us; the one that dwells in us as Christ spirit lives through us.

Rev Partlow asked, “What are you yearning for this advent season?.”  I realized that what I and others may see as discontentment with the church is actually a yearning for the kingdom.  I am often frustrated with myself because I can’t seem to simply accept things as they are.  I am continually seeking what could be.  I am learning to accept that this is simply how God created me.  I was reminded today that it is my hope in the future that makes me dissatisfied with the present. I see so much potential and have witnessed powerful movements of the spirit.  It has left me hungry for more.  I am not willing to settle for business as usual when it comes to the Christian faith. This advent season, I will continue to seek the breaking in of God’s kingdom here on earth in unexpected places and in fresh new ways.   I long for a community of believers who share my yearning and my hope.

So, what are you yearning for this advent season?

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2 Comments

Filed under missional church, Personal Reflection

2 responses to “A Hopeful People: Entering a Season of Yearning

  1. I’m yearning to experience the potential the people of God have to live in unity as the people of the Kingdom of God. George Barna writes about his observations that this is happening in, Revolution. “Worn out on Church?” he asks. In Revolution he details the movement of God among his church as those who’ve been hamstrung by the polity and practice of the institutional church have sought to experience God outside of the walls of these churches.

    Others are writing about this reality and this yearning to live as kingdom people. Reggie McNeal in The Present Future tells how the church will have to face this new reality.

    I yearn to be a vital part of this movement. I’m hoping the leaders in our churches, the pastors and elders and deacons and teachers, who’ve been praying for this to happen will recognize and embrace this new reality even though this will mean having to make and to their their churches to make some serious changes.

  2. wmccaig

    Jim,

    Like you I am excited to see signs of this movement bubbling up all around us. I am seeing it in the missional church conversation, I am seeing in the Christian Community Development folks and obviously with our sisters and brothers at Communities First. To the outsider it just looks like small movements but what we are seeing is just the tip of the ice burg once the paradigm shift happens. You and I are ministering on the front end of this and it is easy to get discouraged but at the CFA conference I was really encouraged by seeing the others across the country who are yearning for the same thing. Sad you could not make it. Hopefully you can make the next one. Hope all is well with you and your ministry.

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