Living as a Family on Mission
People connected to Our Savior's Palm Springs will grow in their love of God, grow in their love for others and grow as disciples who make disciples.
Those connected to Our Savior's palm Springs will grow as followers of Jesus exhibiting an ever increasing AUTHENTICITY, EMBODIMENT and RESTORATION as disciples.
Embodiment: By this we mean
· People who are confident in who they are in Christ.
· People who experience and are able to share genuine healing and transformation through God’s love.
· People who live as disciples living as a Family on Mission.
I recently heard someone say that they tend to have trouble receiving someone's hospitality. In fact his person needed help but did not want to be a burden for others, thus, they never accepted help from family or friends. I spent some time explaining that the help being offered was one way friends and family were embodying Jesus and his nature of hospitality. See each of us are to embody Jesus in all our lives. That is what we do as the "Body of Christ".
Embodiment carries an active sense that resonates with me. It is not active in the sense of trying to accomplish something, but rather active because it is alive. To be the Embodiment of Christ in our world is a great priviladge; it simultaneously declares our existence and our mission, our calling and our sending.
I’m looking forward to seeing family this weekend. In fact I’m looking forward to the opportunity to once again worship with them. In preparation for our worship gathering I’ve been thinking about the concept of hospitality- the way that ties in with embodiment.
I experienced the model for hospitality and embodiment on a trip this summer to Pawleys Island South Carolina, the HQ of the 3DM movement. During my time there I experienced true embodiment and hospitality. The members of the 3DM family welcomed us with open arms. We worshiped together, learned together and played together. They lived the life of a disciople accepting me, and my whole family, for who we are in Christ! Their hospitality shined through!
This reminded me of Eugene Peterson’s powerful retelling of the story of the road to Emmaus where Jesus joins weary travelers on the trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus. this part of the story came back to me when our friends in Pawleys Island showered hospitality and love on us. Here is a small portion of that story.
While it isn’t the full expression, giving (and receiving) hospitality is a powerful embodiment of Christ in this world. Hospitality goes beyond feeding the hungry; it sits down at the table and shares the experience of the meal with them – extending not just grace, but love, dignity and community. Hospitality goes beyond merely saying “God loves you,” and even beyond, “I love you.” Hospitality says to someone that our lives would be more impoverished without them.
This isn’t about fixing a fancy dinner and making sure the children are on their best behavior, though eating a meal together can also be a powerful embodiment of Christ. Hospitality is about sharing life together. It is what was expressed by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 “We were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
I have, in the past, struggled with accepting hospitality from people because I didn’t want to be a burden. In truth this was the lie that hid my pride and ego which preferred to sit in the position of one who offers help to those in need. The offer of hospitality is not just an opportunity for the “haves” to bless the “have nots” – though that is certainly appropriate. It is a way for each of us to embody Christ in a very real and significant sense, and to acknowledge that we all serve from a place of need in anticipation of the day when Jesus himself will fully satisfy those needs.
For some of us, and for different reasons, receiving hospitality may well be more difficult than offering it. Perhaps it is pride, perhaps it is insecurity or perhaps it is a fear of being indebted to someone. In any case we must ask ourselves whether our inability to accept hospitality can negatively impact our ability to embody Christ.