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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Divine Congregation in Action in the Human Congregation (Back to the beginning, part 2)

One of the reasons I use the metaphor of God as the Divine Congregation is to highlight the importance of humans who congregate. Congregating, as followers of the Divine Triune Congregation, is not really optional if one is to to be of God. If you wish to follow this God, you should probably find at least two others to make it a real and authentic following.

Some people believe they can "follow Jesus." In fact, many folks these days call themselves Jesus followers. Now, if by that phrase people simply mean they do the things Jesus did, I suppose that is OK. I mean, Jesus did some pretty radical things, and those who wish to do similar radical things could do worse than to follow him. But, if by "Jesus follower" they mean something more, something like "Jesus is my God. Jesus is my ultimate" and do not include the God who Jesus worshiped, the phrase becomes problematic. You see, Jesus is God because God is God.

Paul gets to this idea most poetically when he writes (many people believe it is a quotation from a song)
          "Therefore God highly exalted him,
                and gave him the name
                that is above every name,
                so that at the name of Jesus,
                every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth,
                and every tongue confess
                     that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2. 9-11)
What Paul wants us to see is that although Jesus is God, God exalted him. That's why being a "Jesus follower" is not enough to follow the way Jesus wants us to go. It is a good beginning, but there is way more to Jesus as the Christ of God for Humanity in the power of the Holy Spirit than just some radical politics.

There is living together with people you don't like, don't agree with, and probably don't like you. There is constant bickering about who gets what, and who gets to decide. There is going hungry even though you don't have to because there are some who have so little. There are children that are too noisy, and some elderly who are too crabby. There is pot-lucks that stretch for miles. Smiles that capture rays of sunshine. Love that seems to connect us with another dimension. Hope that springs eternal. We call those places congregations. Which, it seems to me, is precisely what the Divine Triune Congregation is looking for amidst us humans.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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