Good morning, Y’all. How are you being this morning? I know that sound odd to our ears, but I really mean it. As we talk about being as the foundation of our doing, I really want to know how you are being, not as a test but out of genuine concern. Imagine the conversations we could all have if we asked each other “how are you being” and really stop to listen to the answers!
Tuesday we talked about how our worship of God in our regularly scheduled gatherings in our meeting spaces is not the goal of our belief but one of the ways we learn to live in relationship with God every moment of every day outside of our gathering spaces. Worship is one of many formation tools that, with God’s help, we learn to be The Church, living and breathing and moving in the world, participating in God’s redemption Plan. So, what is it to follow Jesus out of the worship space doors and off the grounds of our campuses to love and serve God in this world?
When Jesus says, “follow me,” he doesn’t mean we are purchasing a reserved seat ticket for some future trip. And the invitation isn’t to just come and visit God once in a while in these buildings we gather in for our worship until then. Our response to Jesus’ invitation is about our life now.
In Jesus’ sermon about not looking for shortcuts to God that I quoted in Tuesday’s post, Jesus goes on to say:
“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.”Matthew 7:24-25, The Message
Jesus tells us plainly that we are to build our life on what he teaches and demonstrates. As Jesus prepares his earliest followers for life without his physical presence, he talks about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, and caring for the sick and those in prison (see Matthew 25:31-40). These aren’t “next life” activities but for us to do now in this new and glorious life given to us through Jesus’ own life, death, and resurrection.
All of this doing grows from the foundation of our being, God’s beloved children who follow Jesus as The Church. Whether we are at home or at work or running errands or participating in our hobbies and leisure time activities, how we interact with others either reflects the Love and Light of God or it doesn’t. Jesus tells us that the way we treat other people is the way we treat him. Do we offer kindness or indifference? Do we offer hope or apathy? Do we offer compassion or self-centeredness?
What we do not only comes from our own being but how we see others ‘being’. Every person we encounter each and every day is created in the image of God and is a beloved child of God. Let’s be and do accordingly.