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I Wonder How Many of You Know Where This Comes From?

I wonder how many of you know where this comes from?

Maybe the picture above gave it away. It comes from the 'Big Book' used in Alcoholics Anonymous, from the end of Chapter 11 which is entitled 'A Vision for You'. For some reason the Lord seemed to lead me to these words and it struck me how relevant they are for all of us if we wish to live into the vision that God has for us. The process of redemption, healing and a transformed life calls for each of us at some point to honestly declare, 'Hello, I'm Mike and I'm an addict", and then to commit to a journey in fellowship with others.

It is a humbling reality to understand that we are all addicted to sin, that without the power of Christ living within us, we will revert to destructive tendencies because of our human nature. Look how Paul puts it in his letter to the church in Rome;

Here's his conclusion, "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin" (Rom 7:14b) but thankfully that is not the end of the story. He understood that the Lord Jesus Christ delivers us from the body of death. He does so when we abandon all hope of reforming ourselves and surrender control of our lives to God, the good and beautiful God who has always loved us and because of that, wants something better for us.

We can admit our faults to him because he knows them already, he died for them and has forgiven us. Through confession we're simply agreeing that this is all true and the freedom we're given (in love) is to help us embrace the work of faith, the saving our our souls as Peter puts it.

In the world of AA, people are guided through the 12 steps by a sponsor, someone who has also done the 'work of faith' to clear the wreckage of the past, in order to give freely of what is found. This experience is then shared among a small community of people "in the round".

What is the equivalent in the church ... even here in Jericho Road? We sometimes use the expression, 'Calling out the gold' which I think equates somewhat to giving freely of what is found. However, unless we're able to clear away the wreckage of the past, it's possible that the "gold" will remain undiscovered.

How might we envision our joining in this work for all who wish to be free to fully enjoy the fellowship of the Spirit? How do we create safe, loving, connected spaces alongside initiatives like I Am Second, but serving the needs of people from all backgrounds?

With love and prayers,

Pastor Mike

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