We are a community of broken people…
God knows we are imperfect, flawed, broken people with no part of our lives untouched by the consequences of sinful attitudes and actions opposed to God’s will for us. We gather together knowing that by ourselves no one is right with God, not even one (Romans 3:23).
We also know that God created us good and in God’s image, which is ultimately restored to wholeness through his Son, and God accepts us as right with God through what Jesus has done for us. So we have no basis for pride or pretence, and every reason to be humble and authentic before one another, because we are all received and become whole only by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8, Galatians 2: 20-21).
…learning to be loved by Jesus
In following Jesus, we learn to receive continually God’s forgiveness and grace through him. We cannot truly live apart from the renewing, identity-changing power of his Spirit filling us to overflowing (John 4:14, 7:37-38).
Apart from Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5).
All those practices that put us in a place to be renewed in our relationship with God as God’s adopted, beloved children, to receive God’s love directly and through others in community remind us of who we truly are. Being God’s people comes before doing God’s work. We cannot give or live out what we are not regularly receiving.
…so that we can love like Jesus.
This is the mark of being followers or disciples of Jesus, that we love with the same tenderness, compassion, “toughness” and intensity with which Jesus loved his disciples and the world (John 15:12-13).
We give our lives away to love, serve, and restore people and systems in the world to God. We extend the reach of God’s just and gracious rule in the lives of people as we notice and join in what the Spirit is doing to make “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).