As a kid you're told not to judge a book by it's cover. And since most people will watch a movie before reading a book in today's world, I guess it might be more appropriate to say that we shouldn't judge a movie by it's trailer alone. Either way, it's the idea that what exists between the front and back page of a hardcover novel might be more intriguing and meaningful than the artwork on the front would have us think.
I was introduced to the same idea as it pertained to faith quite a few years back now. It's been said that we live life between two trees, the initial tree in the Garden of Eden and the final Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem. We stand between the fall and the final redemption of man. And most of the scriptures depict how we as humans, being pursued by a loving God, discover and respond to that redemption.
Of course there are climactic moments to which our attention is often drawn, such as the birth narrative and the resurrection story. There are significant elements of transformation that flood our minds like the birth of the church or our own transfer from the darkness to light, addition to grace, fear to love. One can't forget the seasons of reformation like that of Luther in 1517 or that time when you and many others committed to a season of prayer and saw local congregational regeneration. All of these moments happen between the trees.
I've recently been saying another phrase/question that has slimmed down a vast amount of days between the trees. For me it takes faith to a new depth, or new focus maybe. It goes a little like this: "How do we live between the Sundays?"
So much of what we consider church, in the grand year 2013, takes place on Sunday. We gather. We sing. We receive offering. We pray. We shake hands. We fellowship. We take communion. We may even break bread together. But how is it that we participate in church between the Sundays? That's been the place that has most troubled and convicted me as of late. How do we practice the very sacred acts of the body during the week together? How does what happens in the lives of believers, intentionally intersecting with one another, during the week become more intriguing, significant, and meaningful? Is it just small groups? Is it just another study? Or is it about adopting a common rhythm, practice, or way of life. Hmmm...
I am eagerly, maybe even desperately, seeking community that begs for the interaction of the church between the Sundays; interactions that rival or even exceed the gathering for worship each weekend. I wish to come alongside hearts that are hungry for the discipleship process becoming a true rhythm in their lives. I need people who push me to beg for fellowship, interaction, accountability, and inner transformation.
Sundays are great. But I'm still looking for those ready to live between the Sundays as well.
* Acts 2