“Communities of Grace” - Hebrews 12:28-13:9

All Saints Church - Bill Berger
Hebrews 12:28-19:9
Message Notes

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” -C.S. Lewis

One of our church values: Authentic Community - Believe, doubt, seek. All on the journey together.

The importance of community: cf 12.28-29: the consuming fire of God’s presence in community with the Trinity. But we make ourselves the center. But all the things that give us joy will still be lacking, but point to the Ultimate.

To worship God acceptably… vs 13.1-4. Through the messiness of authentic community, no longer through ritual. We want to be a church about magnets. We are all nerdy, all of, but we come together on this journey and welcome anyone to join along. We should be a mission disguised as a church. Jesus built a community that was rich and deep. You don’t become part of a community by just showing up, you become part of community by becoming deeply involved.

The intensity of community: Love each other as family. Unconditional commitment to one another. There is a bond of obligation between family. In this radical understanding of community is a transparency and bond between family. Family is the single most shaping experience of your life. We are the product of the family we were raised in. We come from (who we are) the community we were raised in. In a family we are connecting at multiple points. Sharing teaching or coffee etc AT church doesn’t mean you have become part of a radical community, that takes effort. It is sharing life, more than just being part of a club. It is radical to live in this community, but it is hard: it takes accountability and openness. Wisdom and discernment is also a necessary part of it too.

The openness of community: Need both open and intense. Vs 1-2: commitment not just to family, but to strangers too. Welcome in people you would oterwise be suspicious of. Giving to those who cannot give anything back, to someone that we cannot get anything from. Vs 3-4: social justice and sexual purity - interesting combination. We live in a radically selfish society… willing to have sex with others outside of the community relationship, we are putting our selfishness above community. Same with money, radical transformation to become unselfish but to truly take part in community. Have to be willing to be marked as part of that radical community.

The power to create this community: vs 5: free from the love of money because God will not leave or forsake us. We are engaged in behaviors or desires that are unhealthy and painful for us… all those things will foresake us, but God will not. Even our closest relationships will break, people cannot handle the weight of our expectations or conditions, they will break. So our identity cannot be defined by those things. We need something more stable. How can we really know that we can have radical community? We go to the Cross, Jesus was foresaken so we don’t have to be any more. He is with us always because of His actions on the Cross. Authentic community is messy.

5 Radical Acts of Urban Hospality
1) open your home to people in your apt
2) Invite some to church and take them to lunch
3) Participate or lead a life group
4) volunteer
5) Care for the poor, the stranger

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