The Beloved Community

The Beloved Community

This week Pastor Carl kicked off our Lenten message series The Beloved Community. Traditionally, Lent is the time of prayer and fasting between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Since revival life Church just completed a season of prayer and fasting the Lord spoke to Pastor Carl about the specific fast he has called our house to. The Lord challenged us to fast pessimism, self-loathing, negativity, isolation, and hopelessness. These are the testimony of the world about the hopeless situation we are in.

In contrast to the word of the world, the Lord challenges us to stay hopeful, expecting God to come through. Reading from Ephesians 3, we learned how it was always God’s plan to reveal his multifaceted wisdom to the world through the Church. Many people are stuck in cycles of oppression because they have not become part of the local church.

In his theological writings and speeches, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr articulated his hopeful vision for the future which he entitled The Beloved Community. We are leaning into this idea where each person is fully alive in Christ to demonstrate love.

In this first message in the series, Pastor Carl used apophatic theology to describe several things the church is not:

The Church is an appointed gathering of named people in particular places who practice a life of resurrection in a world which death gets the biggest headlines. The church is not an interest group or a club, it’s not called to judge the world, it’s not called to be a public service organization, it’s not a self-help group, or just a person and their Bible. The church is called to preach the unfathomable riches of Christ and to enlighten people as to the mystery hidden in God to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Speaking prophetically about our society’s isolation and anxiety, Pastor Carl showed how the church is the cure so many in the world need today.

As you meditate on this message throughout the week, guard your heart against these negative emotions that we are fasting during Lent and lean into the promises God has for you through the church.

At the beginning of service several people were healed. Spend time with God and meditate on what healing he has for you in this season.

In your time alone with God, ask God to show you what he has for you in the church, and how you can be a blessing to others in the church.