The Deeply Formed Life
This week, we conclude our series based on Rich Villodas' book, The Deeply Formed Life, with a conversation about missional presence. I genuinely hope this series has given you a richer understanding of the connection between the journey inward and the journey outward. We're learning that our personal spirituality directly affects how we engage the world as followers of Christ. Let that fact challenge you toward practices that call out more faith and call you out into the world.~Carolyn
I hope you're reading the companion book for this month's series, because Villodas gets it so right in his chapters about sexual wholeness. He reminds us that we all possess what we call sexuality. It is a kind of longing, given to us by God himself, to remind us that we were not made to be islands unto ourselves. We were made for community. We were made to care emotionally, spiritually, even physically for each other, just as Jesus cared for those in his community. This week, we will talk more about what it looks like to cultivate a healthy sexuality that connects us to a deeper spirituality. And we'll end with communion as we celebrate the very body of Christ, given for us that we might be whole.
This month, we're working our way through some classic themes in spiritual formation and finding that holy rhythm that moves us from the journey inward to the journey outward. This week, we'll talk about the kind of inner seeking that almost feels like rebellion. And in a way, it is. It is a willingness to rebel against the cultural expectation that we keep our feelings to ourselves and present a shellacked image to the world. There is not much that's biblical about this. David railed against God. Jesus tossed tables. Job shook his fist at the Father. And those very stories teach us that these are the real and powerful responses that open us up most fully to the Father's heart. This Sunday, we'll talk about what happens when we let our "real" out and give God room to move.
How does social activism relate to a deeply formed faith? And how do we as spiritually formed people engage in the world without letting ourselves become entrenched in culture wars? This week, we'll talk about a familiar topic, using the lens of spiritual formation to shape our response to a broken world. We will learn from the Apostle Paul how to root our opinions scripturally, trusting that the Kingdom of God is our country, King Jesus is our leader, and his gospel is our worldview. I look forward to being with you this Sunday in worship.
Many years ago, when I was first contemplating the idea of planting a church, I came across a book, entitled, “Journey Inward, Journey Outward.” Just the title was enough to spark a revelation in me. It was the first time I’d put words to what I sensed the Church was to be about. It is to cultivate in every person a rhythm of contemplation and action, prayer and service. That rhythm is critical to a healthy and deepening spiritual life because it is only as we connect with God that we can genuinely and lovingly connect with the world around us. That rhythm is at the heart of the series we begin this Sunday. "The Deeply Formed Life" is an opportunity to explore that rhythm of prayer and service, using some very specific topics to guide the conversation. Along the way, we’ll discuss racial reconciliation, missional presence, sexual wholeness, and interior examination. I believe this conversation will call us deeper into our practice of the faith as it calls us deeper into our mission as a church. I look forward to diving in. ~ Carolyn