Without Walls

I've spent most of the afternoon painting a sign with the new name of our Sunday School class on it to hang in the classroom. In doing so I've had literally hours to contemplate what a life Without Walls embodies. For our class, it describes the nature of Who We Are within our congregation... rather than a defined group of individuals coming together based on age or gender we are a wonderful hodge podge of the Body of Christ. Retirees, college kids, marrieds, singles, widows, men, women, deacons, and new Christians... yet we all have in common a thirst and hunger for the Word which brings us together week after week.

During my quiet time in His service today, I came to understand that without walls is to be more than the name of a Sunday School class I attend... it is the kind of life He is calling me into. Allow me to sort through some of the many whisperings of the Spirit over the last few hours... no new revelation... just gentle reminders from a loving God of the kind of people He calls us to be...

A life lived without walls is...

  • a life of transparency... tearing down the protective barriers we build around ourselves and allowing others to see who we really are, experience our failures, and share in our triumphs. No longer working so hard to keep up our outward appearance that we allow our inward person live a life unchecked. No longer pretending we are the one who escapes the declaration of Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Rather being open and honest in our failures, repenting, and then moving on in the work the Lord has laid before us. Romans 8:1 reminds us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We need not fear our failures, but learn from them. We no longer face condemnation!!! This isn't a free ticket to sin... as the Apostle Paul would say,"Certainly not!" Rather it's a freedom to realize who we really are, an understanding of who we become in Christ, and an ability to grow more and more like Him each day!

  • a life of unity... how much effort is spent within the Christian community pointing out differences? How much time spent arguing over the importance of immersion baptism, methods of receiving Holy Communion, what kind of worship service is most appropriate... but Christ came so that we may be ONE! For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. (eph 2:14). His desire is that we get beyond our differences and develop a Kingdom Focus that unifies us as one Body. I often wonder what the world sees when they peer into our community and witness denominational differences and congregational in-fighting... who would want to be a part of that? Christ said "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (jn 17:22-23) Let them be brough to complete unity to let the world know... what are we telling the world?

  • a life beyond the church... we have to take Jesus outside the four walls of His House. He's called us to be His hands and feet in this world, not just in the Church! We can serve on every committee, assist with every dinner, shake every hand in church and still miss the mission laid out in Matthew 28:19-20... which as well all know says to Go! Go! Go! Go! GO! So let's get going! Let's take Jesus to the people who are reluctant to come to Him. Meet them at their point of need. Listen to their hurts. Care for their pain. Grieve in their sorrow... just as Christ does for us.

  • a life lived reconciled... Jesus' life and death does more than tear down the barrier we build around ourselves, or destroy the walls we put up between each other... He destroyed the wall between us and Father-God. At the moment of His death the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split (mt 27:51). He destroyed the barrier between us and God, the veil that separated the Holy from the Most Holy... and we are now able to approach the throne of our Creator boldly. Oh, how we take for granted this gift of reconciliation! A life lived reconciled is a life that recognizes the power of grace and forgiveness in their lives. I'm not talking about lip-service here... I'm talking about really recognizing the work of Christ on the cross, the work of the Spirit in our hearts, and the work of the Father in our lives!

A life without walls... it is an idea worth consideration. I'm examining my life for the artificial barriers I've created. I'm examining my obedience to His call to take His love beyond the church. A life of transparency, unity, reconciliation... a life beyond the one I know... a life lived in the light of His grace.


Seth Alexander said...

Good thoughts! That would make a good sermon!!

Lauren said...

This is something the Lord has been encouraging me on as well. Psalm 51:6 has been the cry of my heart recently as I seek to live a life of complete truth and transparency. You should check it out. I think you would like it too.

BeckyB. said...

psalm 51:6 in the mssg reads:
What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

thanks lauren... THAT'S what I'm talking 'bout!