Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.
Friendship and Belonging in Middle Age
Here’s an article by Alan Noble on some of the reasons it’s hard for people in middle age to make and sustain friendships. And yet, we need friends!
The way our lives are set up is broken. The structures, habits, practices, and values. Our city planning, markets, careers, laws, and entertainment—all have been designed with a false idea of what a human being is. Collectively we assume that to be a human is to belong only and ever to yourself. Thus, friendships can be a nice perk of a successful life, but friends can’t demand anything of you that you don’t choose to give. At any point, if a friendship is holding you back or bringing you down, you can bail. Because the only person you owe happiness to is yourself.
Jesus, Friend of Sinners
One of the main accusations that Jesus faced was that he hung out with sinners too much. What are the implications of this for our churches today?
Some Christian circles assume that if a pastor or church is drawing in sinners, they must be compromising the message of the Bible. Maybe they’re seeker-sensitive, watering down the more offensive doctrines of Christianity. On the flip side, pastors who have a reputation for castigating sinners, faithfully exposing the sins of society, must be doing something right. But the truth is, neither approach captures the complexity of Christ’s gospel ministry. Jesus had the ability to attract notorious sinners with the offer of grace without ever compromising truth. It wasn’t the outwardly sinful who were typically put off by Jesus, but the sanctimonious! Ministries that repel sinners through so-called boldness can be just as unfaithful as those that attract them through compromise.
Go to Funerals
I love the way this article talks about a church body attending funerals. The author encourages everyone who is able to go—especially children—because a church is a family.
The Christian community can be distinct by going to funerals of everyone in your church. At funerals, we display to the world what the body of Christ is like. At funerals, we display what commitment looks like in a covenant body. When we take our membership vows, we are not joining a hobby or a club. We join a body. A body needs all its members—especially at a funeral.
Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here.