Day 1 of the conference, I walked in the doors to see roughly over 2000 people at the conference. I was just amazed. I had no idea this many people would come.
Rob opened up with Colossians 2:6-7, focusing on the last part of verse 7, "overflowing with thankfulness." He broke down the word thankfulness in the Greek, eucharistia (sorry to all Greek scholars, I didn't get the whole word down). Broken down it looks like this:
eu-"well" or "good"
charizoma- "To grant, give"
charis- "grace" or "gift"
This is where we get the word "Eucharist." The idea was that Jesus was God's good gift of God, and in turn we, as the church, are God's good gift to the world, in essence, we are living Eucharists.
Rob mentions that when we are living Eucharists, that means bodies are broken and blood gets poured out. This is our function. He took it further, stating then when someone is fed spiritually, somebody else had to be broken and poured out. Speaking to a ton of pastors, I'm sure you could understand that sentiment in the room. Rob continued to touch on these theme of being broken and poured out, that this is what happens to all of us in the church. Someone is fed, someone else is broken and poured out. We cannot run away from it, this is the way God has designed it.
Rob connects that the life of Christ is integral with the death of Christ (2 Cor. 4:7, 1 Cor. 4:23).
He goes further and asks a big question, and this is the one that stuck with me:
"If the church was taken away from our city/town/village/area, would anyone protest?"
What a great question. He mentions that the church is the only organization that exists for the benefits of its non-members. He goes through 1 Corinthians 9:19, in which Paul says he's all things to all people. Rob points out that he omits one thing, strong. He doesn't become strong to become strong, because strength is found in weakness. He asks some questions on if we pretend. He says "humanity over perfection." Our culture is about the path of Ascent, the way of Jesus is a path of Descent.
We turn to Eph. 2:11, which talks about something never mentioned before in the history of the Scriptures, a new humanity. He says, "Culture divides us, but the church is what happens when people with nothing in common come together." He then said we have to "reject the cult of cool."
2 Cor. 11:28 and Acts 8:9--the Eucharist is NOT a product. How are we a Eucharist for these people, in this place, at this time?
He then flips to Hebrews 12:18-24, which touches on God speaking a word of the new covenant, making connection to Moses at Sinai. Rob says there is a magnetic draw of the tribe, the Eucharist is ultimately a mystery. He says "the problem is when the church tries to play by the same rules as everyone else...
He then wraps up with stating two absolutes of the Eucharist:
1. Your own journey, whatever it looks like. Your journey is always an absolute. The church is a Eucharist because you and I are a Eucharist. Christ in us and Christ through us.
2. Letting the body be put back together and the blood by poured back in. Because this is happening to us, we have to have space for God to put us back together. He talked about Sabbath for a while. That Sabbath is an opportunity, NOT an obligation.
This teaching explained a lot about my journey. I think our move to Mars Hill maybe in part because I was constantly being broken and poured out, but never let God fill me back up. I never created the space for it to happen. It was an encouragement that being here is right for the moment.
Coming up, Day 1 evening session on the Theology of Creativity.