If we could sum it up in a sentence it would be this: Because of who God is, we will be.
The first many times we talked together about what God was doing in our hearts, this one word kept coming up: becoming. It is the picture of a redeemed you and me. As we become part of Christ's Church, His body, we set out on a journey of finding our purpose in the Kingdom. Of becoming mighty and beautiful for His glory. It doesn't matter how small or incapable we feel as we begin.
Because He is.
God's promise is that He will do it. And He has. God's love demonstrated in Jesus, came to earth to meet us where we were, lost and mired up to our necks. A mighty Saviour to rescue and redeem us. His beautiful love makes us whole again over the long journey of life with Him, because God is faithful to finish what He begins. We can't think of a better way to spend our time than getting to know Him more and telling others about Him.
Because we will be.
You might think us a strange collection of ordinary people. Young, old, men, women, multi-ethnic, and diverse demographics. At first glance, we may not appear all that incredible. We believe that it’s only through encountering and being changed by Jesus that we become the people we were made to be. Slowly, over time, by His power and presence, the fear, shame, and pain are stripped away and healed, and we become more and more the unique expression we were made to be. The most 'us' we could be. Not ordinary at all.
C.S. Lewis describes it as becoming “…underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.”
Our Vision As a Story
When we first prayed about starting a church community, we read the story of David’s mighty men. This is a manly story, but it is echoed by men and women of faith all throughout the Bible. Those heroes of renown. In this case, climbing into snowy pits to kill lions, fighting hundreds of enemies at a time, one on one battles. Epic tales of mighty deeds of boldness and courage. A people without fear.
This didn’t exactly describe us, although we wished it did. And then we saw these verses:
It turns out that a long time before they were mighty, these people had some issues. David formed his army out of those “in distress, or in debt, or discontented”. Family and runaways, rebels and priests. They didn’t amount to much on the grand scale. Not the most amazing bunch. Not a likely group to make into a legendary army.
This sounded more like us. And it gave us hope.
The story of redemption is that slowly they changed. They learned to follow. Eventually they became a people of renown; mighty (this reminds me a bit of Jesus and a certain group of followers).
How did they accomplish this change? By God’s grace and faithfulness. Over time. Slowly. Through brokenness. By waiting in caves. Love and community. Strong and humble God-centered leadership. Worship. Writing songs. Waiting. Being healed in the Presence. Restored and then released.
So we’re expecting that our group may look more like the former than the latter. We’re anticipating it. It may be a bit messy before it gets beautiful, but that means there’s hope, even for us. We believe in the redemptive power of Jesus to reconcile and make new any willing heart. To turn us, by His grace, into Jubilee. An army of men and women like Joel saw.