Those of you that have seen me in the last month or so (and those of you who haven't will just have to take my word for it) may have noticed that I have given into the fad of wearing one of those colored oversized rubber band bracelets. No, mine does not show the world that I made a donation to the cause of aids, cancer, children's hospitals, or animal shelters...Nope, mine was actually a free gift with a purchase from Cokesbury bookstore. Although I am not one give into trends, I decided that I would put this band on as a reminder. The band says "My Journey" on it (along with Cokesbury's logo). As was mentioned in the last comment section of my first post, I view the endeavor I am on as just that: a Journey. However, it’s not just A journey; it’s MY journey. My journey differs from your journey, and yours differs from everyone else's.
I love stories! As you may be able to tell from looking at my book Reading links (to your left) I like epic stories. I really love stories about people who have a destiny and go through this epic journey to become the person they are meant to be. Harry Potter, Eragon, and Sonea (The Black Magician Trilogy) are all tangled up in an epic story that has some sort of journey through which they must progress. That is somewhat how I view being a Christian. I view myself as being on this great journey of exploration and understanding so that one day I will finally become the person that God has created me to be! In reading these stories however, I have noticed a trend. Every hero of the story embarks on their journey and meets companions along the way that help him or her become the person they were meant to be. I've come to realize a basic fact of life. Whatever your journey may be, you cannot accomplish it alone; Hence the need for a Christian to be a part of a Christian Community.
What is interesting though about the Christian community is that not only are its members on their own journey, but the organization itself is on a quest. What is that quest? Well it’s the quest of how to do Church of course! See I have this theory. I'm sure that I'm not the first to think of this, and I could be wrong, but I see a trend throughout church history. Here we have the one and only Catholic Church. Then we have a Division in the Catholic Church (Roman v. Orthodox). Then we have the Reformation, denominationalism, 1&2 Great Awakening, Church splits, and the list goes on. I think that all of these events are a direct result of the confusion that Christ left us in when he...well... left! I mean its not like he gave us a Minister's Manual, a guide to running church programs, heck he didn't even leave us with an Order of worship Template (although I think some churches think that he did!) Look at the early Church portrayed in the New Testament. You can't even get through the book of acts without the leaders of the church splitting on the issue of circumcision! Obviously, the Churches that the epistles are addressed to were having trouble trying to "do church".
So what does this have to do with my journey you may ask (or you may not, but let’s pretend you do)? Well my journey keeps coming back to the Journey of the Church. Are we really getting anywhere? Do we really, "do church" any better 2000 years after the first churches began. Do we have any better understanding of what Christ envisioned when he gave us the great commission? I'm not sure. I think we may do some things better, but I feel that there are many things that we are just as lost and confused about as the first Christians were. Will we ever get closer to an understanding of what Christ wanted when he forsaw Christian community? I'm not sure, but for some strange reason my journey keeps overlapping with the Church's Journey, and I can't help and wonder if part of my Journey is to help the Church on its journey. I mean, we both are striving to be whatever it is that Christ is striving to make us in to.