As we have seen in Isaiah, God holds individuals and communities responsible for their behavior. In addition, individuals may experience discipline for community behavior, even if their own behavior is good.
As TNBS and Sanctify go forth this year, possibly transforming into something beyond what we had envisioned, we need to function with this in mind. We need to remember that we are responsible for the behavior of our community and are obligated to do something about it. Within that task, we must not let loose of the fact that we are also responsible for our relationship with God. We must strive to be holy persons.
I, for one, know how difficult it is to act against our habituated ways of being. But God’s Word is clear: he expects our lives here, together and alone, to correspond to his ways. God is Lord and Creator of all. Whether it is entertainment, employment, politics, community service, or friends and family, how we live must correspond to God’s ways. Living a life that corresponds to his ways means living a whole life, not a few moments here and there.
We, as individuals and as a church, are so engulfed by our own ways of being and our culture’s ways of being that we do not know how to be who we are. This must change.
To bring it down locally, for that is all we can really do, if TFB is to become what God wants us to be, we must remember two things: who God is and who we are. Apart from this knowledge, we have no criteria for change.
According to Ephesians 4:15-16, spiritual maturity happens in community as we exercise our grace-gifts in connection to Christ and one another. Our becoming who we are has everything to do with our connection to the Head and to one another. These connections accomplish the work of growth.
In 2009, let us struggle to maintain our connections to the Body and the Head. Only in doing so will we as a church become who are are.