Christ in us is the key truth of the new testament age and the power of the new creation.
As we having been saying, the power of Christ in us means that God is where we are. But there’s more: We are the manifest presence of God. No - we are not Gods. We are sons however and with authority - not as the (scribes) practitioners of religion. Just as Jesus was God manifest on among the people so we are the manifestation and the multiplication of Jesus as the sons of God and representatives of our Father. The incarnation with its steady presence and the power from on high in the anointing of the Spirit is the sign and reality of the Kingdom of heaven before the world.
Christ in us is the key truth of the new testament age and the power of the new creation. Follow this theme. I read this in the paper recently. ‘On Tuesdays, there’s a bingo game. On weekends, a Bible group sets up in the opposite corner, and offers prayers and Bibles to whoever wants to come. It is run by Stephen Elliott, 63. He says “We come here every Saturday, and set up in this corner. McDonald’s offers us room for whoever shows up. We have the space to gather and pray.” This article in The Guardian unintentionally points the way to how we might more innovatively be the church Jesus builds - quite possibly by not being churchy, by abandoning the secular/sacred dichotomy that has no part in the new covenant and living in the truth that ‘He has made the two one.’ Separation has been undone and earth in all its diversity has been united with heaven’s life.
Incarnation is the presence of Christ and the Spirit in us with power. The new birth is us transformed. The new creation is the resurrection presence of Jesus multiplied in the church - not an an institution or a religious amalgam of roles and statuses but as God and the power of the trinity alive and active in His people.
Apostolic people are not at large to preach church. They are agents and harbingers of the new creation. We are called to multiply heaven’s life into every aspect of human activity. Don’t be held back by churchy small-mindedness. Radical innovation is not the province of old covenant people captured in the paradigm of religion. Radical new life and radical imagination is ours when Jesus plus nothing is our life. When Christ is our life we become innovation and vision itself.
In Broken Hill many years ago I saw a church in a pub right in the middle of town. This was your standard institutional outfit but situated aptly in surroundings familiar to ordinary folks. But we could go one better - buy a pub and run it as a real pub - yet committing ourselves to incarnating it with the Spirit of Jesus and Spirit-filled staff for whom Christ is life. Rather that denouncing demon drink and living from an anti-sin mentality we could enter our life mentality release the spirit of life without limit. The truth if this age is Christ come in the flesh. Nothing vaporous here. The Spirit of Christ manifest in all implies the reality of the new creation manifesting in our social and material culture.
Enterprising Believers might buy a McDonalds franchise or similar. As the article points out, these are natural, self-generating community centers with cheap food, clean facilities and spaces in which to meet. The advantage of such places is that they lack what can be the artifice/humbug of religion. But are potentially more able to minister the unencumbered, fresh presence of Jesus. People can meet here, be themselves unhindered by administrators and burocrats. Jesus Himself in and among the people without any agenda other than the life, comfort, hope and togetherness that is Himself. It puts another dimension on the loaves and fishes. And for the more radically inclined it presents an opportunity for the release of Jesus’ healing ministry with signs that make people wonder.
‘When many lower-income Americans are feeling isolated by the deadening uniformity of things, by the emptiness of many jobs, by the media, they still yearn for physical social networks. They are not doing this by going to government-run community service centers. They are not always doing this by utilizing the endless array of well-intentioned not-for-profit outreach programs. They are doing this on their own, organically across the country, in McDonald’s.’