Yesterday, we reflected on theological doctrines that spoke to your spiritual journey. Now, on New Year’s Eve, I invite you to take a brief moment to reflect on the current congregation that you are serving. I further invite you to take seriously the theological assumption that your congregation, regardless of the state its in, is part of the Body of Christ. As is clear from the descriptions of the church in Scripture, the Body is not composed of theological giants or spiritually perfect individuals. As was true from the beginning, God’s grace is made perfect in our weakness.
Every human body needs to be fed if it is to grow and mature. The way that we feed the Body of Christ is by nurturing its faith as reflected in the great doctrines of the faith that frame our understanding. As you think about your congregation, what is one theological doctrine that if they understood it more fully might strengthen them as a congregation. Once you have identified a possible doctrine, allow your mind to playfully identify different aspects of that doctrine and how that might contribute to your congregations growth in faith.
In the current chaos of our time, what might it mean to more firmly grasp the idea of the sovereignty of God? How does one speak of God’s sovereignty as it applies to our culture’s anxiety and stress? If one combines the concept of sovereignty with an understanding of the sinfulness of all humanity, what does it say with respect to the ideological battles that have been so divisive in our political climate?
Or consider the idea of the virgin birth. Step aside from all the gynecological debates, and consider what it might mean to say that who Jesus is cannot be explained by just understanding the genes of his parents. Now, what would it mean to apply that to the Body of Christ. What might it mean if the members of the congregation grasped that they were part of something greater than a merely human organization.
Once you have picked your own doctrine, let your mind play with the implications for your congregation. It might provide you with some helpful clues that will shape your preaching as you enter a new year.
Happy New Year