Uncomfortable call to Community

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SUNDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2018

We are in the season of Lent - the six weeks that lead up to Easter - traditionally this is a time of fasting, prayer, repentance - even now the idea of what are you giving up for Lent (chocolate, coffee, tv etc) which reminds us of Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days, fasting despite temptation. 

It’s designed as a space where as we focus on the sacrifice of Jesus, we bring our hearts and lives before Jesus to ensure we are following wholeheartedly  - it’s a space for a WOF - to check the core parts of our life and faith are aligned.  To recognise our human tendency to selfishness and rebellion and to have our hearts ready for the reality of Easter - connecting with both the death and sacrifice of Jesus that we might be ready for the receiving of resurrection power.

In this space leading up to Easter we will explore what that means for us as a community, as a group called to follow Jesus together. 

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We start this journey by jumping into the story in John - where Jesus is deeply aware that he is about to go to the cross, and he has gathered together his disciples for the Passover supper - the last time they will be together before he dies - and in this context he gives them new meaning to the supper they are eating, and a new command. John 13:1 says “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

 

Jesus took this diverse group of people, loud mouths, cowards, detail orientated, bold quick movers, jokers, political activists, quiet ones, unknowns and the final and new command he gave them was this:  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

For Jesus AGAPE is not primarily a feeling that happens to you – it is:
• Action - a choice you make to seek the well being of people other than yourself
• Generous - Seeking the well being of people who can’t repay you in return, especially those in difficult situations
• Unconditional - ultimate test is how well you treat the people you can’t stand... your “enemies” - those who will never return it