Jan13MonJanuary 13, 2020
Definition of “authentic”: of undisputed origin; genuine
What are your initial thoughts about what an authentic faith community is?
What does it look like?
What are some of the “activities” that you think would foster the faith community reflecting authenticity?
Sit with these questions – take your time and write out your answers. It can be surprising to realize what we really think. J
Read Ephesians 2:11-22 (The Passion Translation) / A New Humanity
Write out one word that encapsulates community for each section:
11–12 So don’t forget that you were not born as Jews and were uncircumcised (circumcision itself is just a work of man’s hands); you had none of the Jewish covenants and laws; you were foreigners to Israel’s incredible heritage;you were without the covenants and prophetic promises of the Messiah, the promised hope, and without God. ______________________
13 Yet look at you now! Everything is new! Although you were once distant and far away from God, now you have been brought delightfully close to him through the sacred blood of Jesus—you have actually been united to Christ! ______________________
14 Our reconciling “Peace” is Jesus! He has made Jew and non-Jew one in Christ. By dying as our sacrifice, he has broken down every wall of prejudice that separated us and has now made us equal through our union with Christ. 15 Ethnic hatred has been dissolved by the crucifixion of his precious body on the cross. The legal code that stood condemning every one of us has now been repealed by his command. His triune essence has made peace between us by starting over—formingone new race of humanity,Jews and non-Jews fused together! ____________________
16 Two have now become one, and we live restored to God and reconciled in the body of Christ. Through his crucifixion, hatred died. 17 For the Messiah has come to preach this sweet message of peace to you,the ones who were distant, and to those who are near. 18 And now, because we are united to Christ, we both have equal and direct access in the realm of the Holy Spirit to come before the Father! _________________________
19 So, you are not foreigners or guests, but rather you are the children of the city of the holy ones,with all the rights as family members of the household of God. 20 You are rising like the perfectly fitted stones of the temple;and your lives are being built up together upon the ideal foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and best of all, you are connected to the Head Cornerstone of the building, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ himself! _______________________
21 This entire building is under construction and is continually growing under his supervision until it rises up completed as the holy temple of the Lord himself. 22 This means that God is transforming each one of you into the Holy of Holies, his dwelling place, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you! _________________________
Experiential Reflection Questions:
We have looked at what is meant to be but sometimes what we experience is not quite the same. There are times when it is very different and other times it is just not as ideal as we expect. Here where there is liminal space, resistance or longing – this is where the Spirit can work. Engage with the following question with God and yourself:
What do you see as some of the benefits of being part of an authentic faith community?
What have your disappointments in community been?
What do you see as your personal part – your unique person and gifting – in your authentic community?
Are you expressing the above in life giving ways?
Do you need help to discern what your part is?
Has your part changed in this season? Or do you sense a new direction on the horizon?
What is your greatest desire for your community to know together?
What do you sense the invitation is from God for you?
Take the words that you wrote out under each section of the scriptures and write out a prayer expressing your desires for yourself and for your faith community.