Last night at our Liberty House Church gathering, Mark said something pretty funny. We have been studying Philippians from The Message, just reading it scene by scene and letting the Epistle work its magic of practical wisdom and instructions on humility. It has often instructed us to "love well" and be "full of grace". Mark confessed that his neighbor is somebody whom he finds the hardest for him to love. Now I'm not even sure that Mark would categorize himself as a Christ Follower but this Jesus stuff just gets viral and infects the systems of our selves. This week while he was mowing his lawn, he noticed his dreaded neighbor's lawn also needed cut. And he knew that they were out of town because of some emergency. So he was compelled to love his neighbor by mowing their lawn too. It was so funny as he was telling the story because in jest he was saying how he doesn't want to be thought of as a "nice guy" and if he keeps doing stuff like this, he's gonna stop coming on Tuesday night. We had lots of laughs over the story and I just find it beautiful. The Jesus life is infectious. When we approach his teachings with humility and a desire to learn, something spiritual happens. It gets in our bones and connects with the way we were intended to live back in the Garden. Again, I'm not sure if Mark would categorize himself as a believer, instead, he's behaving like a genuine Christ follower.
Is it true that belonging and behaving precede believing?
It used to be that when someone made a public profession of belief (baptism), then we gave them belonging (membership) and hoped that they would spend their time behaving (discipleship). Is it possible that in the emerging world, this journey is circular and not linear at all? Belonging, Believing and Behaving all work together in no particular order. Just some stuff I'm thinking about.
Stop and notice the Kingdom around you today.