Some of you are already aware that I have written a book. It is entitled Room To Move and is not yet published for a number of reasons (namely the fact that our lives have been a little upside down since last summer and I have put the pursuit of publishing on hold). I don’t, however, want to put the content on hold. So, I’ve shared with you, my faithful friends and readers, bits of the book a little at a time. You can read the first two chapters by searching the category “Room To Move.”
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you about the discipline of Community.
Plan A, B or C?
Have you ever imagined what it must be like in heaven? What is God doing up there? Does He start the day with a cup of coffee, a work out, a danish? It is hard to imagine, isn’t it?
The reality is–everything is foreign when it comes to God. As the Maker of everything, God doesn’t process life or events as we do. We respond to life circumstances while God initiates. The wind doesn’t blow without God’s permission. God is sovereign–the ultimate authority.
Yet, Adam and Eve ate from the fruit and brought sin into the world all on their own. Where was God? Did He initiate their sin? Was He responsible for the harmony broken between God and Man?
Imagine with me, God in heaven subsequent to Adam and Eve’s sin. What were His thoughts? Did God already have a plan in mind if Adam and Even messed up? Certainly Adam and Eve’s sin couldn’t have been Plan A, could it? Plan A was harmony with God. Plan A was morning walks in the garden with God “in the cool of the day.” (Genesis 3:8) But Plan A was ruined. Community with God had been broken.
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Plan B became the way to make up for their mistake. As a result, God handed down specific guidelines as restitution for sin. These guidelines became the standard for which God’s people would live by. They were hard, oppressive and fairly impossible. Plan B wasn’t working. The people couldn’t meet the standard. They couldn’t redeem themselves.
Back to God in heaven…
Was God scratching His head thinking, “Wait, why isn’t this working?” Was God frustrated? I would have been.
I assure you, God wasn’t wringing His hands trying to crank out a Plan C.
This is the plan, planned for the whole earth, And this is the hand that will do it, reaching into every nation. God-of-the-Angel-Armies has planned it. Who could ever cancel such plans? His is the hand that’s reached out. Who could brush it aside?–Isaiah 14:26-27
Plan C: Send someone who can actually redeem these people. Though, it was never really Plan C. God’s plans was simply the next step in Plan A.
When I was younger, my dad and I loved to watch the detective show, Columbo. Columbo was the goofy detective that led everyone to believe he didn’t know what was going on and then BAM!…he had the whole thing worked out.
I sometimes think God is sort of like Columbo. You wonder if He really knows what He’s doing or thinking and then BAM…He has the whole thing worked out!
Then Enters Jesus
And here it is–God’s plan to fix this whole mess starting in the Garden of Eden but never really letting up over the course of hundred of years.
God let His Son take the fall. If the people would let Jesus reconcile their sin, they could have harmony restored with God.
That’s it–the perfect plan! It’s totally win-win for the humans.
One Teeny-Weeny Problem
But, there’s one teeny-weeny problem–how will this work generation after generation? How will the following generations know about this freebie–this grand-prize solution–that takes care of the whole sin problem?
Brace yourself–God is at it again. (I’m telling you, God didn’t consult me when it came to thinking this next part through!) As crazy as it sounds, God decided to let the same humans (the ones that can’t seem to get anything right) communicate the news to the next generation.
Jesus spent three intensely short years, putting this plan into place. He spent His time with insignificant men and women–people with messy pasts. And by design, Jesus gathered around Him a group that would model community.
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Jesus’ disciples wouldn’t learn the right things to say, the important people to rub shoulders with or the correct posture to baptize. Instead, they learned the discipline of trusting and submitting to other people. They learned the relationship of the Trinity.
Community would be God’s plan for showing the lost world and future generations what Jesus had accomplished on the cross.
Question: What comes to your mind when you hear the word “community”? How has this word changed meaning over the last few decades.