the yearning for unity

It’s so handy to be able to make notes and tag them–so for example, now we can just click on the "values" tag, and review what we’ve got so far! In fact, we missed one when reviewing them in one day’s notes, so it’s time for another summary. We’re working on a value for each of the letters of "SHEPHERD", from the name of our church (Good Shepherd Community Church).

S = Scripture
H = Holy Spirit Gift-based ministry
E = Excellence
P = Prayer
H = Holistic Transformation (this week’s value)

It seems like "Excellence" and "Holistic Transformation" are very similar, but the Excellence sermon concentrated more on the call to be holy, while the Holistic Transformation value is more about the HOW–through relationships/small groups (as well as through scripture-study, of course!) It would seem to us that Transformation is the beginning–the "being"–while Excellence is the doing. Although Dave did stress that Excellence is something we "are"; of course, we have to "be" before we can "do". In any case, neither is something you get to "finally accomplish", on this earth; rather, you are constantly working them in your daily living.

Sharon began by mentioning the statistic about young people leaving the church when they get to a certain age. What we have heard before, is that they need to be challenged, to be given ministry work and ways to work out their holiness/excellence/transformation. Which is rather contrary to the modern idea of making things as easy as possible!

Sharon moved on to concentrate more on the work of "reconciliation", which we’ve been coming across a lot, in the scriptures lately. (Her reference was 2 Cor. 5:17-21.) It’s rather painful to realize that Christians can be in so much conflict with each other, when God’s strong desire is for unity. "They’ll know we are Christians by our love". How can they call themselves Christians, and be so hateful to one another!? But, it’s an age-old problem, as you realize when you read Corinthians. Human nature is something that requires God-power to overcome, for sure! But He can’t work if one is not humble enough to realize that I could possibly be part of the problem (it’s always the other person’s fault!)

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