Certainty Isn't the Point
Dear Friends, As you may recall, we’ve recently finished our first pilot of The Colossian Way. Since that time, we’ve been diligently compiling feedback from leaders, participants, and expert reviewers. We’re keen to make certain that what we share with our partners in this next revision be a deep and rich experience for Christian communities seeking to hold truth and love together in the midst of conflict. Thankfully, even in our striving, we have friends like you who remind us that true faithfulness lies beyond our attempts to achieve certainty in our work. Recently Rob Barrett, the primary author of The Colossian Way participant guide, stepped away from the piles of feedback and revision planning to spend an evening with one of our pilot group leaders. As they sat together on her front porch enjoying the sounds and smells of summer, Rob saw first-hand how deeply committed she was to her community as neighbors stopped in throughout the evening to share bits of their lives including their fears and hopes. Interspersed throughout these visits, this leader reflected on how she and her group experienced The Colossian Way—their ups and downs, their joys and sorrows, their delights and frustrations with the process itself. The future of this leader’s church community is uncertain and she was clear that The Colossian Way didn’t change that. Yet, she continues to pray for us and is eager to see how she can be involved in the next steps of The Colossian Way experience. Faithfulness to her community isn’t measured by certainty, but by friendship amidst uncertainty. How deeply grateful we are for her friendship and this timely reminder. We can so quickly forget that certainty isn’t the point as we follow Jesus in this polarized culture. Yes, we want to work hard to hone The Colossian Way, but even this effort won’t guarantee its success. Thankfully, our success has already been accomplished in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Now the Lord is inviting us to participate in his certain success by laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters while they (and we) are yet sinners, even when the shape of our future together is uncertain. What does that look like? For starters, each day we have the choice of putting tasks first or laying down our lives (starting with our precious productivity time) for those whom Christ has given us. I’m the first to admit that it’s tough to break free of the to-do list to offer significant time to folks who don’t move my personal or professional projects toward certain success (pray for me!). But if we take seriously The Great Commandment, it’s clear that success, in its deepest and most certain sense, means: (1) loving God and (2) loving our neighbor. I encourage you to be open to the Spirit’s prompting to lay down just a little bit of your life this month (yes, in the midst of the new routines and rhythms of autumn) for that person of whom you are just a little uncertain. This post is excerpted from our October prayer letter. To receive the prayer letter in your inbox, click on the button below. Subscribe! To the monthly prayer letter.