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This Sunday – May 3

One way to love people incredibly well is to pray incredible prayers for them – not just the momentary ‘relief’ prayers to change some difficult circumstance,  (don’t stop praying those) but a life-changing prayer, one that not only changes their life but has the potential to actually change the world – why stop there – I mean, has the potential to change eternity.

Such a prayer is found in Colossians 1:9-14, where Paul prays for the church in Colosse.  This Sunday night at our gathering, from 5-7 we will be looking at that prayer, putting that prayer into practice for ourselves and for others.  Check it out.  We will be doing this at our new location:  The United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 MLK, Jr. Blvd.

There is a lot in the prayer, starting with the primary request, that God might fill them up with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  He says that he prays this so that they might “live a life worthy of the Lord.”  A life worthy of  Christ?  sounds a little far-reaching and unrealistic.  How about just a life a little better than the one I am living right now.  wouldn’t that be an improvement?

What he means by a life worthy of the Lord is one that more and more alignswith what Jesus is about, one that is in sync with the heart and practices of Jesus.

In The Gathering Church we want to become experts on the life of Jesus.  We particularly want to understand what made his life so attractive, so compelling to those who seemed most far away from God.  Why did people who couldn’t stand religion gather like crazy around Jesus?

I think that one reason is that Jesus lived beyond any personal ambition or agenda.  He was living a life worthy of God, his Father.  That worthy life put him in perfect position to serve others.  When have you been around a person who cared so much for you that it was obvious that your welfare was their biggest concern?  I talked on the phone the other day to the man who played a key role in launching me into ministry 25 years ago.  He took an enormous risk on this untried, recent seminary grad.  It was so obvious, though,  that he was living a life beyond himself, one that was worthy of Christ.  Because of that, it was obvious that he cared for me – and I knew that my life was different, was blessed just because this man was in the world and I was on his radar.  A few minutes on the phone put me right back int that place of being blessed, of being loved incredibly well.

We are starting The Gathering Church not to love ourselves, but to love others, by first living lives that align with Christ.  I can’t wait to hear your insights about this prayer in Colossians, how we might apply it, how we might live it.

See you this Sunday.