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A Call to True Life: Life Together

Posted by David Doppenberg on

We are on our last Sunday of our sermon series, Lent—A Call to True Life. At the start of the Lenten Journey I shared this introduction to the Faith Compass:

“As disciples of the Lord Jesus we are called to resist the sin that separates us from the love of God and neighbor. The disciplines of Lent—repentance, fasting, prayer, reading of scripture and works of love—help us turn to and live in the harmony that God desires for all creation.
During Lent we will look at the circles in our life that help us best experience joy in communion with God, with our neighbor and with ourselves. As a guide for this journey we are using a Venn diagram that I developed called the FAITH COMPASS.

I think of the center, True Life, as being in the presence of God's love and forgiveness so that we can be God's love and forgiveness in life. The circles hold the ways we are called to be in relationship with God and each other.

A simple illustration of this concept would be a band. There is a conductor that the individual band members follow. They do this as they are called to practice and master their identity and abilities as a trombone player (my instrument of youth). All band members also follow the conductor when they come together and practice as a group or as a body of band members. Ultimately the band under the direction of the conductor plays music for the benefit of others. This benefit or ministry shared inevitably nourishes those who are a part of it as well.”

On this last Sunday we look at what it means for our Life Together which best corresponds to the diagram’s BODY of Believers circle. We are a part of the Body of Christ which is of God’s doing as a gift. In the simplest way it is about treating each other with love and respect, seeing each other as children of God.

I’d like to share one more aspect of the Faith Compass. You and I are called to be actively practicing all three of the circles in our daily life. Here’s another illustration:

I remember watching our kids learn how to play T-ball. They were taught how to throw, catch and hit the ball. All three of these actions were necessary to play the game. The coach didn’t say, “Hey, this year we’ll learn to throw, next year we’ll learn to catch and in the third year we’ll learn to hit the ball off of the batting tee.” All three—throwing, catching and hitting—were taught from the beginning.

True Life is found in relationship with God. First, God calls us to Dwell daily. Second, God calls us to worship weekly. And third, God calls us to daily living, of knowing our Identity as Children of God and disciples of Jesus Christ. This way of life isn’t about getting it perfect or better than others. It is about “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:37, 39)

— Pastor David