Recently, our family made a big move to be closer to Pulpit Rock, our coffee shop, and the places we are creating community. We left a great, and large, house of seven years in Monument and selectively chose a more urban setting, moving as close to downtown as possible in the old Willamette neighborhood.
Leaving the last house where we had all four of our kids together and a neighborhood we had settled in was hard, but we felt that we needed to live more intentionally missional in last decades of our life, and so we searched for closer houses, front porch living, and an area filled with diversity.
As we moved these past three weeks and began to meet neighbors and be present in our new location, I was reminded of the opening of John’s gospel as interpreted in The Message:
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
John 1:14 (MSG)
This of course is speaking of Jesus and how Jesus came to be present among us on earth. The Word becomes flesh and moves into the neighborhood. He doesn’t hide, he doesn’t go behind locked doors, he moved among us and lived out the kingdom he came to announce.
As Kitty and I move into this new neighborhood, we have a strong desire to be present in the way Jesus was. We purchased a table with leaves, so we could expand it when needed. We chose a house with a great front and back yard for having people over to fellowship together. By the end of the first few days of moving boxes, Kitty had already met all the neighbors that surround us. Last week, we had several twenty-somethings over for a meal and to hang out.
We have begun “moving into the neighborhood.”
We are by no means perfect Christ-followers but feel good about these first intentional steps to be present in people’s lives, being tangible examples of the Kingdom that we belong to.
Here at Pulpit Rock, we talk a lot about Jesus’ instructions in John 20:21. We talk about being “sent” people in the way Jesus was sent by the Father. We are sent to be displays and examples of his Kingdom in ways that he was; we eat with others, we share life, we are light in dark times, we love them because they are our neighbor.
We do all this regardless of beliefs, ethnicity, orientations, or lifestyles. We do it because we are fellow imago Dei (images of God).
This fall, I’d like to invite you on a journey to learn how to live this way. Being a Christian not only on Sundays, but in every place you live, work and play. Being an example of the Kingdom in practical ways and living your life as a taste of the kingdom for others.
Starting September and running through May (with breaks for holidays and other rhythms), you are invited to join a limited and select group of PRC attenders on the Forge journey. We will be learning how to live the way Jesus lived when he moved into the neighborhood.
We’d love to have you see our new house, and have you join us on the journey!