“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace”
Each Sunday I try to post something encouraging, something invitational in terms of connecting with the church. Last Sunday I said that it doesn’t matter who you are, regardless of where you stand regarding spirituality or religion, the faith community has something that you need – and you have something the community needs (“Why Church is the Right Place to Be…”); it’s not a matter of alternatives or options, it’s the reality of finally finding our way home.
We were specifically created with the idea of community sown into the essential fabric of our being. For good or for ill (and sometimes both at the same time), the church is how Jesus chose to continue his work, post incarnation. So I will always believe that the local congregation of stumbling disciples remains the ideal place for each one of us to explore faith, and to live as followers of The Way.
So come. And as you come, think about the scripture I posted with the photograph above. The invitation that Jesus offers usually translates, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 NRSV). But I love how Eugene Peterson captures the cadence, the rhythm of the Christian walk, in The Message.
I recorded the image one January evening walking along the shore of Galilee. The serenity arrested me. So I sat, I looked into the water and on through to the surrounding hills, and then I thought about how I could possibly capture the moment in a photograph. Eventually I balanced my long-suffering Nikon on a rock, set the timer, and launched a pebble into the water.
I like to think that my walk with Jesus can be understood as a “work in progress” example of the unforced rhythms of grace. To me at least, the picture tells that story.
Recover our life!
“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life,” Jesus says. Peterson’s Message is a paraphrase, I know that; but this is one of those instances where I think he nails it.
This is as foundational a concept as there is. Life with Jesus is full and rich in a way that is not possible for me outside of the incalculable beauty of the community of God’s children. I honestly don’t think any one of us is complete without him.
So come home already. Come home.