Since we are all in the business of re-imagining life as we know it, I think it is also a good idea to reclaim those things we are supposed to be about anyway.
To this end, the words of Eugene Peterson in “The Jesus Way” have stirred me this week. Here is a flavor, at length.
“The local congregation is the place and community for listening to and obeying Christ’s commands, for inviting people to consider and respond to Jesus’ invitation, “Follow me,” a place and community for worshiping God. It is the place and community where we are baptized into a Trinitarian identity and go on to mature “to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4:13), where we can be taught the Scriptures and learn to discern the ways that we follow Jesus, the Way.
“The local congregation is the primary place for dealing with the particulars and people we live with. As created and sustained by the Holy Spirit, it is insistently local and personal… A Christian congregation is a company of praying men and women who gather, usually on Sundays, for worship, who then go into the world as salt and light. God’s Holy Spirit calls and forms this people. God means to do something with us, and he means to do it in community. We are in on what God is doing, and we are in on it together.” (The Jesus Way, page 5).
Oh man how I long for the local and personal bit (when we can be together in-person again.) But this is to be held onto. To be fought for. That we don’t settle for an online experience but ache to return as the body of Christ in time.
We still do these things using the gifts of technology, to the best we can, but we can’t prefer this way. We are meant to be together. And we will be. Even apart for these months we are still part of what God is up to, we are still in on it together, and one day we will really be together again.
Let’s press on to that day. Let’s keep our claim on the community of The Way.