Faithlife Sermons

January 27, 2019 -FLOURISH - Practicing Shalom - Reconciliation

FLOURISH  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:16
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Reconciliation is part of the Gospel. Yet our world thrives on antagonism fuelled ideologies. Jesus calls the church to live differently. Join us at 10am this Sunday as we learn to move away from the antagonistic way of life.

January 27, 2019 The smaller groups in our church community are inside our homes where we go deeper, build friendships, and walk out the Christian life with each other. HOME CHURCH GUIDE + “Breaking the Ice” question (group facilitator) + CHECK-INS: Introduce, check-in + CARE: Needs in the group + COMPASSION: What is the group planning? Are you inviting your neighbors to join in? + GROUP ANNOUNCEMENTS Church-wide, group-only + DIG IN: Discuss questions as a group + END AND HOMEWORK: Final questions, prayer huddles for personal requests. Consider breaking into small groups (huddles) of 2-4, by gender, if large enough. DISCUSSION questions: Credit: 1. Where have you seen submission used or exhibited in an unhealthy or wrong expression? Where have you seen submission used or exhibited in a healthy or beautiful expression? What was the difference? “For Jesus reconciliation is not merely an idea or doctrine. It is something we do as his followers. More than a status given to us by God through Christ’s work on the cross, it is what we practice together.” -David Fitch DISSENSION AND CONFLICT 2. Bible passages to read and discuss: Matthew 18:15-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Sum up the gospel message into one work it might be reconciliation. 3. How might biblical reconciliation be a form of evangelism in our world today? OUR VOCATION 4. Faithful presence is best demonstrated in spaces where we already hold commitments or spaces we plan to be committed to. In thinking through your typical week, identify one place where you can begin practicing a new kind of presence. Practically speaking, what would this look like for you? 5. Practically speaking, what might reconciliation look like – practical and specifically – for you this week? What will that require of you to let go of (time, pride, schedules, etc.)? 6. Creative ideas: In Rembrandt’s famous painting “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” the artist painted himself into the background of the piece. Search for the painting on Google images and spend unrushed time – by yourself or with others - pondering the painting. Consider who you might be in the painting and reflect on what the Spirit may want to say to you – and how you might respond appropriately to it. 7. Take a few moments to list out the name(s) of people with whom you are not in a reconciled state; a parent, a child, a former co-worker, a friend, that person you unfriended, or who unfriended you on social media. Prayerfully, humbly, and courageously consider seeking them out and pursuing reconciliation. Prayer Requests: THE SEVEN PRACTICES + The Lord’s Table (January 20th) + Reconciliation + Proclaiming the Gospel + Being with “The Least of These” + Being with Children + Fivefold Gifting/Ministry + Kingdom Prayer RECONCILIATION: 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Matthew 18:15-20 THREE LEVELS 1. Go privately and directly to the person who has caused you pain/hurt. Listen and be listened to. 2. If no agreement or peace is reached, expand to two or more people as witnesses 3. STILL no agreement, take it to the community as a whole The community may mean the elder or board or a town hall of all interested parties in the church (if it really does impact that whole church). “We WILL say, ‘Based on Scripture, my prayer life, and what I know from last week, I believe God is saying ______________________, and I submit to you. Are you seeing what I am seeing?’ We will use a consensus-based decision-making process guided by the Holy Spirit. We will stay at this mutual dialogue in mutual submission until all parties are satisfied that Christ Jesus has been followed and submitted to as Lord.” James 5:16 “Confess... one to another.” Put your words out there for agreement. Reconciliation is saying we will do life differently in the world, not by its power-over ways. We do not live as ‘the Gentiles do.’ Submission opens space for the Spirit to work reconciliation, growth, and learning. RECONCILIATION IN THE THREE CIRCLES + CLOSE CIRCLE - Go to “your brother.” This is the spiritual family, he uses the word church. How we in the church are to operate. - In Matthew 18:17 and 1 Corinthians 5:3-5, the community is taught to make visible the refusal of one’s submission to one another in reconciliation in Christ’s name. --Forgiveness is not the full package, reconciliation is. Forgiveness releases someone from our judgment but consequences have to be dealt with through reconciliation and boundaries or ending the relationship. + DOTTED CIRCLE -Table fellowship in the neighbourhood: the practice of reconciliation -Element of submission. -As home churches get real, conflict will occur from time to time -Secular culture: validate and act on our fight/flight. Reinforces it through in/ out group thinking and ideologies that we are taught to defend and isolate around. -Our neighbours need to see us responding differently to marriage conflict, to our ethnic conflicts, and to our city. + HALF CIRCLE -Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. -Non-christian spaces where WE are the guests. -Every gathering, neighbourhood, etc. is flowing in a stream of antagonistic broken relationships. -Be present and make Christ’s presence known. There will be opportunities to show another way. -Sit humbly and vulnerably listening as Jesus would -Offer reconciliation —“I believe I have wronged you.” “I believe my forbearers have wronged you.” “I repent from these wrongs, how can I work with you to make things right?” —Sometimes we have to begin by naming wrongs and that we are part of it. —“I believe Jesus has forgiven all the wrongs in this room. You all are forgiven in him. He wants to come and be present here to reconcile. Can we seek forgiveness? Can the wrongs be set right?” (SP35) TAKE AWAYS + We are called to be present. Face-to-face change. + Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of a constructive non-violent tension. This is a key to making space for Jesus’ spirit in the world. + If you want to make real change, we must sacrifice time, other engagements, some of our leisure and hobby time, to be present with others ON THEIR TERMS, not ours. + We must learn to inhabit our neighbourhoods better. + We can be present at local tables, marches, every conflict in our churches as ambassadors of Jesus. God is at work, will you join him? + 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 19
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