This week Graeme concluded his short series of revelatory reflections about the ‘incarnational community’ by reminding us that we are ‘ambassadors of Christ’. He alluded to a vision he’d had recently in his SIT-REP about our current Mission and Vision statement. The vision was that our church was a ‘Heaven Embassy’. He will unpack this more in a little while but in the context of yesterday’s message he was simply emphasizing the ‘ambassadorial’ ministry that we have; that is, all that we are, say and do IN CHRIST is and should be a FULL representation of ALL OF HEAVEN. This is ONLY possible if we accept and partake in ‘the divine dance’ with God the Father through God the Son and by God the Holy Spirit.
So, Graeme was describing the incarnational community as being like an embassy. As ambassadors, we ARE what we represent. God makes His appeal TO THE WORLD, THROUGH THE CHURCH and the church IS Jesus in the world.
Being incarnational means ‘Being present, IN love; WITHOUT judgement as Jesus was. Based upon John 12: 44ff, Graeme encouraged us to live in the truth that God set judgement aside to enter the mess of our stories. He postulated that if we the church do likewise with those we encounter, we will in some meaningful way reduce judgement at the last day.
We should simply represent the culture of heaven. We shouldn’t speak until the Holy Spirit compels us because TRUTH is best represented by FRUIT, and fruit is best when deeply connected (Spirit), to the VINE (the whole inner life of God – 3 in one).
Christ purchased it for us on the cross so you and I could BE IT. Being present; in love; without judgement IS ACTUALLY what Jesus did by NOT COMING DOWN OFF THE CROSS.
Spend some time this week reflecting and journaling revelations you receive about the following statement that Graeme made. Maybe read Luke 23: 33-43 as further input.
“Being present; in love; without judgement IS ACTUALLY what Jesus did by NOT COMING DOWN OFF THE CROSS.”
Agree? Disagree? What about the statement do you agree or disagree with? If you did the exercise similar to this last week, match up your reflections and make comparisons and summaries. Is there any way you can practice this in some way this week? Does any of this inform some of the practical stuff that you thought about that could happen beyond yourself, in a group or in the larger body of the church? Share with someone if you get a chance.
Extra Individual Response or Group Questions
- Read the account of Jesus before Pilate in John 18: 28-38. Reflect with someone else on the idea of Truth. Pilate asks the question in verse 38. Speculate on what you think might have been going through Pilate’s mind at this moment. Is Graeme’s reflection on Truth and Fruit helpful? Discuss
- Read slowly and reflectively through Ephesians 2, 3 and 4 whilst asking God to reveal more to you about how the church can represent MORE of the culture of heaven in every day ways. Write down ANYTHING that you receive and find some people to share with and seek clarity from God TOGETHER with.
Luke 23:33-43; John 18:28-38; John 12:44-50; Ephesians 2, 3 and 4