I am contemplative today. The house is quiet and I am reading a number of blogs and commenters (yes I spelled that the way I wanted it spelled) and my mind is trying to digest and draw spiritual nutrient from what I read.
I have read a number of blogs and posts on church growth. There seems to
be a common theme in them which is causing me some anxiety. In a
nutshell they say that we should be sharing Jesus' forgiveness and grace
and somehow by accepting that grace they have pleased God by giving Him
what He wants. God does want to extend His grace to all. But I do not
believe that us accepting His grace is what He really wants.
I also see a theme of teaching people to become disciples. This too is
good but not the end all. Discipling (a word that nobody really knows what
means inside the church much less outside) is not just about gathering
followers. Jesus calls us to follow Him but even there I am not sure we
really fathom what that means. We seem to get it that it means to become like Jesus but how does that manifest itself? Helping the poor? Service? Those are probably part of it but certainly not all of it.
God is a Father. He, has adopted us. Think about that for a minute. If I were a parent that adopted a child, why would I do that? So that they could eat from my table? So that they could experience my grace? So that I could make them look like me? So that I would have a follower? I don't think so.
I think it is because I would want a relationship with that child. I want to have the child greet me at the door and wrap their tiny arms around my leg and squeal with delight when I come home. I would want to hold them in my arms and show them how precious they are. I would want them to look me in the eye and tell me they love me because that is what is being reflected from my own eyes.
God has surely shown us His love and Grace
and called us to follow. He has offered His forgiveness and at an awful cost. But why? Because that is what people in relationship do. God calls us to a leg hugging, wet kisses, full body embrace, reflective love relationship. Once we can show *that* to the world we will have succeeded in giving God what He wants.