James and John, the sons of Zebedee, went straight to Jesus and asked for very special status among the disciples (and the way Matthew tells the story, their mother also asked for them!) Jesus said – you don’t know what you are asking. You are certainly invited to walk with me – I need you and love you. But what you ask is not mine to grant. He was building a radical community grounded in love, not an institution based on status, structure and influence. The church in the 21st century, as well as local congregations, would do well to remind themselves of this. The church is no longer about institution-building. It is about community-building which is different, and people have very specific needs and desires in community. Membership is far less important than presence. Let’s think about how Island United is, and can be, a congregation for the 21st century. We hope to have a wonderful opportunity to do this at a special event in January – a workshop on “Faithful Generations.” Watch for details. In the meantime, walk with Jesus, but don’ expect any special treatment.
Peace and grace,