This devotional was written by Mike DeVries
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me. John 17:20-21
I find it amazing to realize that Jesus prayed for us. As He knew that He was heading for a Roman execution, one reserved for the political dissidents, His mind moved from the present to the future. In perhaps one of the most mystical of all chapters in the Scriptures, Jesus prays for those who would embrace life in Him through the message of His followers. He prays that they too would experience the oneness that He has with the Father. His prayer is not wishful thinking, but is a dream – His desire for what the Church would embody in the future.
Last weekend at our church, we placed 3x5 cards in each of the bulletins with these simple words on them:
“I desire to be a part of a church that…”
Our hope was to capture some of the dreams that our community has for what it means to be the church in this current culture. The responses were amazing.
“I desire to be a part of a church that… loves me for who I am and who I’m becoming. I am me and I don’t ever want to change that.”
“I desire to be a part of a church that… is accepting… that is growing, that gets their hands dirty in the community, challenges me to be better… then the rest is up to me to meet my church half way.”
“I desire to be a part of a church that… feels like a family.”
“I desire to be a part of a church that… is uplifting and helps me/others realize that even though I am small I am part of a bigger picture, one that I can’t see.”
“I desire to be a part of a church that… embraces me and knows me by name.”
“I desire to be a part of a church that… humbles itself in the presence of the one and only God.”
“I desire to be a part of a church that… loves the Lord as much as he loves me.”
How about you?
When you close your eyes and think about church, what image comes to mind? What kind of church do you desire to be a part of? As we answer these kinds of questions, it’s important to remember two things. First, no church is perfect. Second, we are the Church, so whatever dream we desire, we all have a part in making that dream a reality.
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1. As you think about the kind of a church you want to be connected to, what comes to mind?
2. Perhaps more importantly, what could you be doing to help bring about the kind of church you dream of?
Exodus 19:3-6; Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; 1 Peter 2:9-10
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