Are you paying attention to what’s going on? The need for you to be closely connected with other believers is SO great. With what our children are facing and will face in the years to come, it is imperative that they experience Christian communitas. North Atlanta is a busy, transient culture where people aren’t rooted. The need for effective, intentional parenting and focused discipleship for our children cannot be overstated.
The Cross -- how did it become the most common piece of jewelry ever? Because the One who split time in two was crucified on one. This is the central event in all of history. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame; to the old rugged cross I will ever be true, it’s shame and reproach I gladly bear.
To become a disciple, followers had to take up their cross daily and they still do. Some have eliminated the cross, leaving a crossless Christianity (oxymoron).
The cross is a paradox. Luke 9:24: For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor, theologian, martyr, was asked in 1943 how it was possible for the Church to sit back and let Hitler seize absolute power. His firm answer: "It was the teaching of cheap grace."
"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ." -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We live in a time and culture that not only teaches cheap grace but praises it. I can’t eliminate the cross. We can’t be a biblical church without the cross. We can’t open the side door of relevancy to get people into cheap grace and call it the Christian faith.
We need to return to the gospel, the loving, life giving message of the gospel that calls us to die in order to live. We need an encounter, a liminal season like the one that is upon us, to be drawn together in communitas where we share in the fellowship of His sufferings, in order to fully understand the power of the resurrection - ASTONISHED.