coffee, conversation, transformation and faith

Good coffee, great conversation

Yesterday I drove to Sun City to enjoy good coffee and great conversation with my friend Charles. Charles, in addition to being thoughtful and erudite, makes an excellent approximation of the middle-eastern coffee he first learned to enjoy in Lebanon.

We also teach an adult Sunday morning class together at church. The name of the class is “Everyday Christianity,” and our conversation ranged around the idea of faith in real-time, planning for the next few weeks, and what it means to own a transformational walk with Jesus in our personal lives.

Good message…

WHERE’S THE BEEF? One of our recurring themes has been the troubling fact that the majority of people who claim to be Christian could more accurately be described as being involved in a socially sanctioned religion-lite, rather than a living relationship. We have to ask, “How is Christ’s New and Living Way demonstrated in our day-to-day experience of life?”

Or, as I posed the question in my Men’s Room small group last week, “If someone was looking for proof of the resurrection of Jesus, would your life speak to the power of Christ’s light and life in any compelling way?”

And, when it comes to corroboration of the Good News, am I a “smoking gun,” or a “refutation?”

Rebekah this Sunday

iPhone and ear-phones: Late in the evening, when taking Scout for her long walk, I plugged in my earphones and listened to a podcast of this past Sunday’s sermon, the latest in the series on “FORGIVENESS.” (If you’re interested – and it’s a good example of Rebekah’s preaching style – you can listen at this link: “I’ll Say it Again: Rejoice!”

It’s a powerful message, it features several great stories, and – very appropriately for my thinking all day long – the whole sermon addresses the idea of transformational faith head on.

“Forgiveness,” Rebekah said, “is an act of transformation… It is revolutionary for a clenched fist to uncurl, and to be extended as an open hand… It boils down to this: forgiveness is not a single event (there, did that, check it off). No, forgiveness is a way of life… every time we [forgive], what happens? We become a little more alive in Christ’s love and mercy. It’s a transformational event….”

TRANSFORMATION: Essentially, it’s not so much that our decision to follow Jesus demands transformation, Jesus actually comes alongside us and becomes the agent of transformation. Our discipleship is not post-transformation, it is peri-transformation; there is no post-transformation, it’s a day-to-day process. Like the man at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus tells us to get up and walk. The healing requires those first stumbling steps to take hold.

it’s a journey

Our transformation is wrapped up in our intention to take those first, fumbling, steps, and our moment-by-moment commitment to actually live as if what Jesus promises is true. To live like we mean it, because God most certainly does.

Blessings – DEREK

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