not so “weird” after all

Rebekah, Derek, Julie, Bill
Rebekah, Derek, Julie, Bill at WFPC

This weekend has been a “people” event. Rebekah’s sister, Rachel, is visiting, along with her “sister-cousin,” Zandra. Saturday afternoon I went to the airport to pick up her brother, Roy, and his wife, Lynda. When we arrived back at MaulHall our great friends Bill and Julie Hellman (Brandon) were on the back deck.

For a short while our driveway sported cars with tags from North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida.

Roy and Lynda were due back in Greenville, but everyone else joined us in church Sunday  morning, and it was a joy to worship together with family and friends from near and far.

Rachel, Rebekah, Zandra
Rachel, Rebekah, Zandra

Officially, this has been a “girls weekend” for Rebekah, Rachel, and Zandra. So there have been trips to the fabric store, long conversations, and the grown-up version of a slumber party (meaning heavy on the slumber and light on the party).

But we did manage a long, “catch-up-on-everything” dinner with Bill and Julie. It was wonderful to talk deeply about faith, our children, the church in Brandon, and the exciting things God is doing here in Wake Forest.

So what does all this have to do with the Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion theme of this blog? Well, everything, as it turns out.

You see, in Daily Walk ( the Sunday morning adult ed class I co-teach), we’re studying this book called “Weird” by Craig Groeschel. The premise is that Christians are called to be counter-cultural… anomalies… unusual… “Weird – because normal isn’t working.” Groeschel argues that the point of Christianity is to break out of the routines/values/priorities that characterize business as usual. Then, in consequence, those of us who follow Jesus should be fairly easy to spot.

I totally get his point. In fact, I’ve written many articles with titles such as, “Why the last thing you want is for your children to be normal.”

However, in watching all the comings and goings this weekend; standing outside of our conversations and listening in; thinking about the ground we covered Saturday evening over dinner with Bill and Julie; reviewing our interactions with all these wonderful people; and observing everything that went on at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church this Sunday morning…

… it is reassuringly evident to me what we are up to our necks in here is a different quality of existence than that which is valued, promoted, invested in, and experienced by those who do not know Jesus. I’m talking about the life-giving, gratitude-producing, faith-anchored, and passion-saturated day-in and day-out of a follower of the Living Way of Jesus.

Not just followers of Jesus, but participants in Christ-centered community.

So, yes, a fairly mundane report on the face of it. Hanging out with good people over a weekend. But so, so much more when understood in the context of Jesus:

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives…(Colossians 3:10-16)

That’s what I’m talking about. And, looking at life from this end of a good weekend, not so weird after all. – DEREK


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