Yesterday I blogged about the completion of our third ministry year. Today I want to write about Missio Lux' yearly rhythmic pattern of abiding.
Our commitment to abiding comes out of a desire to pattern our lives after Jesus and to do the things he says to do. It also comes out of the reality that when there is never a change of pace, or a break from doing the on-going things, burn out happens!
When God created the universe he rested on the seventh day. He calls us to do the same, calling us to keep the Sabbath as one of his Ten Rules for Life.
To me, the question seems to be, if God needed to rest, what makes us think that we don't?
Jesus gave us a wonderful invitation in John 15 when he said, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.". He also said in John 15 "Abide in me as I abide in you. just as the branch can not bear fruit unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me."
This is a part of life that I don't get....when we get up and run out of the house to work because we need to be "more productive.". Jesus tells us that we will never be fully productive unless we abide with him.
So, what does it look like to abide? Some people get images of being on their knees prahu g as abiding. Others see it as being in church every time the doors are opened. I see it differently.
I see abiding as the living breathing relationship with Jesus, moment to moment. Not Sunday to Sunday or even "Quiet time to Quiet time."
Abiding is living in a state of rest. We may be in the most pressure cooker environment at work, but we can be at rest because we know Jesus abides in us. We may be physically exhausted for a short period, but spiritually very alive because as we follow Jesus, doing the things he tells us to do, we are breathing in real life.
I often ask this question in huddle (our intentional discipling) "What do you love to do?" until just recently those in huddle would look at me in confusion. Why was I asking them that question? Aren't we supposed to serve in our church as the way to follow Jesus?
Yes, of course, sometimes. But, I also believe that when we do the things we love to do, we are worshipping and abiding with Jesus. When my daughter goes on a hike, she experiences God's Presence far more than in an official worship service. When my younger daughter is with animals, her whole face lights up.
I get life from writing, from reading, from being in beautiful places, when I am in a deep meaningful conversation with a friend, and from walking my 100 lb Bernese Mountain dog in Sunny Seattle (or even rainy Seattle), from spending time on the lake, as well as when I am I intentionally spending time with Jesus.
This is our third summer to abide as a faith community. The first summer we filled it with lots of scheduled stuff...but this summer we are officially abiding in the month of July, not having anything official on the calendar, until the camp out in late July. We are encouraging every to gather "unofficially" with each other, as well as those that we never have enough time to see.
We also want to do the "R" things: that which renews, restores, revives, rebuilds, and repairs us. This makes our Creator happy because when we do the things we were created to do, we are worshipping and we are abiding.