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Church as people who find themselves entangled in each other’s lives

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in blog links, community, gathering | 4 comments

Church as people who find themselves entangled in each other’s lives

Occasionally, I come across a phrase or description that either captures my attention or nicely describes my own thoughts about a subject. This happened last weekend when I read a post called “Family, Fellowship and Friendship” from Christopher at “Life With Da Man CD.”

By the way, if you’re not following Christopher’s blog, you really should. I love the questions that he asks and the stories that he tells from his own life and his own struggles at sharing his life with his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Anyway, in Christopher’s post, this phrase (and then the description that followed) captured my attention:

Church at its best is when a group of people who otherwise have no reason to be together, find themselves entangled in each other’s lives as they are now members of the family of God.

That family is not just a nominal one. It’s a messy one. It’s one with all sorts of oddballs. It’s one with varying types of challenges which often come up when such a diversity of characters meet. Yet in that all, the family is one marked by commitment to fellowship and friendship.

I love the concept of the church as people who find themselves entangled in each other’s lives. Of course, as Christopher points out, it is God (and our identity as the family of God) that entangles us together, but from our perspective, it may seem weird that we’re together.

Here’s the problem, though. Many times today, people CAN point to something that holds them together, whether it’s a certain location, a certain creed or confession, a certain organizational structure, a certain program, a certain leader, etc. We should not be held together by any of these things (or anything other than our mutual relationship with Jesus Christ).

But, as Christopher points out, there’s something special and different about a group of people who find themselves divinely “entangled” with one another, especially when there’s no other good reason for those people to associate with one another. Our lives are messy; we’re oddballs and often at odds with one another; we’re challenging to be around… but we can’t get enough of one another.

Why? Because we constantly point each other to Jesus Christ… constantly remind each other of the grace we have in Jesus Christ… and constantly encourage each other to follow Jesus.

Yes. I love that description of the church as those who find themselves (divinely or spiritually) entangled in each other’s lives. But, more than I love the description, I love that I get to live that kind of life every day.


4 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-8-2013

    Hi Alan,

    I, too, love to read ‘Life With Da Man CD’. I hereby second your recommendation.

    Your response to his post is good too, it makes an important point. Perhaps it’s even an essential point. It’s Father who entangles us together, or put differently it’s the Son who builds the church, or differently again it’s by the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit that we build ourselves up in love.

    However you look at it, the Almighty is the cause and the facilitator of placing us in relation to one another.

    I’d just like to add that we don’t get built unless we are out there. Some people (not present company) are little more than Sunday pew-fillers. But those who are active in missional church life, networking with others, socially involved, and experiencing a degree of what Alan Hirsch calls ‘liminality’ will find themselves built together and entangled.

    Thank you, Jesus, that you are the Master Builder, the Master Entangler.

  2. 4-8-2013

    Humbled as ever at your recommendation, Alan, and likewise your seconding of it dear Chris (awesome name) – lets hope the motion passes!

    Also love how you, Alan, expand on the point of the common foundation and common glue in the common-unity being all about Jesus and nothing else. I’m grateful for a blog like this that prods at the implication of that sole basis.

    Chris – heartily embrace and continually challenged by that reality that the entangling is very much experienced intentionally, not by osmosis or by the power of pew-sitting. I also love the Master Entangler line. I think I shall purloin that and you might see that in a blog you have seconded in recommendation soon!

  3. 4-8-2013

    Alan,

    I drop in on Christopher from time to time, and am blessed every time.

    In the light of the sad suicide of Rick Warrens son, and the utter ugliness which emanates from some who call themselves our brethren,I was struck by Christopher’s terminology, “find themselves entangled in each other’s lives”.

    ENTANGLED! That’s what genuine Christian love does! This is the inescapable essence of being in Christ!

    As you have well said,it is, “our identity as the family of God that entangles us together” NOT OUR pernickety attitudes and preferences!

    One of the great privileges of being a Christian is the Holy Spirit endued heart attitude of walking “in love,as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God
    .(Eph.5:2)

    Believe me! I’m ashamed to say,that,even after walking for more than sixty years I still have to watch myself, and often fail this test.

  4. 4-8-2013

    Chris and Aussie John,

    I’m glad to hear that you are reading Christopher’s blog. He writes some great stuff!

    Christopher,

    Start drinking coffee and I’ll link to you more often.

    -Alan

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