But in the midst of this passion for the familiar, I have been challenged lately. Challenged might not even be the best word. I have been stretched in my personal and spiritual life in ways that are affecting my pursuit of the commonplace.
God has been dealing with my family, my concept of ministry, and my ability to cope with new. As I share in my recent reflection on the High Calling, "Moving into the Neighborhood" God has challenged and moved my family from one neighborhood to another.
"Like many in our culture, our family became involved in a church far from our home. Based on God’s incarnate presence, we believe God desires our faith community and our place of residence to be in the same geographical area. As John 1:14 (message) states, "The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood..." If God moved into the neighborhood for ministry, so should we."This has forced us to rethink our lives and our ministry presence. As a direct result of this type of thinking we had to make a choice. For we were living with a holy disconnect by living in one place and worshiping in another.
"The way we see it, there are three options to bring a Christ-centered resolution to our problem. We can plant a neighborhood church, but that is unnecessary because there are several churches already in the area. We can join an existing church in our neighborhood, but what about the church family we already have? We could move to the neighborhood where our current church is located, but what of the neighborhood ministry and relationships we developed? Each option is filled with risk and pain."So after several months of prayer we decided to relocate to a neighborhood closer to the church. It has been a whirlwind of activity for the past two months. We listed and sold our house in a single day. We then bought a house in a neighborhood about a mile from the church. It is not in the neighborhood of the church but it as close as we could get.
So as we continue this journey pray for us to engage our neighbors and faith community in meaningful ways. Help us to love God and love others as he did, by becoming flesh and blood and moving into the neighborhood.