BY PASTOR JOHN CHA
The wheels of your car go through a lot. Think about it …
They travel at 65 miles per hour (or more?). They drive on super-hot black pavement. They drive on icy, wet surfaces. They grind and skid over gravel and pebbles. They come to a screeching halt once in a while. They make sudden turns at high speeds. They occasionally hit the curb – and sometimes go up the curb. They do all this while carrying thousands of pounds of cargo and weight.
It’s no wonder why after a while, these wheels can go off alignment. They become mis-aligned.
Once mis-aligned, these wheels rumble since all four tires are slighting moving in different directions. The ride becomes bumpy. The tires wear out quicker. Your gas mileage is decreased.
Enter us, Open Door.
I bet we each travel at more than 65 miles per hours in life. We live everyday driving on the adverse pavement of school/work stress, relational drama, and personal struggles. Sometimes we come to a screeching halt to avoid a traumatic crash … or we crash. We make sudden unexpected turns and hit curbs of harsh circumstances, crises, and disappointments. All the while we carry thousands of pounds of responsibilities, routines, and demands.
It’s no wonder why we go off alignment. We find ourselves mis-aligned with God, with each other, and with our world. Consequently, there’s a lot of rumbling and wear-and-tear as we strive, relate, and even try to play.
He lives a perfectly aligned life with God, with others, and with God’s saving purposes in the world. And here’s the good news! Literally, the Gospel! Jesus comes into our lives to graciously change our lives by re-aligning us to God. Every day, we can be re-aligned with Christ. Every Sunday, our church gets to re-align with Jesus together. And once or twice a year, we set apart time to explicitly re-align with God’s vision for our church – to be an open door to a life-changing grace.
This brings us to our “Re-aligning” series, where we come together to ask some very important re-alignment questions …
“In my Sunday Experience, how do I approach God?”
Mis-aligned: I approach God depending on me. My performance of how I lived the previous week. My feelings. My circumstances. And because it’s about me and what’s happening in my life, other people in service are secondary or are in the background.
Re-aligning: Learning the Gospel & Hospitality. I’m learning that I come to God on the basis of Jesus, His life, His death, and His resurrection. He embraces me! He loves me! Astounded by His welcoming love towards me, I look at other people on Sunday, and I want to invite and welcome them. After the benediction, I want to greet and introduce myself to someone I’ve never met.
“In my Small Groups, how do I engage with life and with people?”
Mis-aligned: It’s about me and how everything fits in my agenda. What’s comfortable, efficient, and safe? Let my faith remain conceptual and theoretical. And so, I agree wholly with Sunday’s message and that’s good enough. I like what our women’s book study says. That’s good enough. I don’t need to share with others about how I’m doing. People slow me down. I choose isolation.
Re-aligning: Living out my faith & Authenticity. I am taking God’s Word and making it come to life in me. Instead of having God and faith fit into my agenda, I surrender to Him. I fit into His agenda. And all this takes place as I share with others. I humble myself. I ask for help. I confess. I help others. I encourage, challenge, bless, correct. In a setting with God and others, how can I be anything except authentic? God and others keep me real. Without God and others, I become fake … really fast.
“In being Sent into the world, how do I engage every day with the world?”
Mis-aligned: The world is here to fill my needs and meet my purposes. I climb the ladder. I’m chasing the American Dream.
Re-aligning: Love the world & Sent. We are sent into this world to bring love and God’s hope. We demote ourselves. We serve. We overcome evil with good. We bring the hope and the good news of God’s life-changing grace that makes all things new.
So pray for our time of re-alignment and join us …
On 5/29, you already heard me share about our Sundays, where we can learn the Gospel and become more hospitable.
On 6/12, you heard from Pastor Tae as she challenged us in our Small Groups to live out our faith and become more authentic. We also had our Family Meal on that day too!
On 6/19, Pastor Daniel challenged us with how God calls us to love the world and to grow in our calling as those who are Sent.
Is your life mis-aligned? Do you hear the rumbling wheels and feel the wear-and-tear? Re-align with God and His call for us to be an open door to a life-changing grace.
Pastor John Cha is the head pastor of ODPC’s English congregation. See more of the “Re-aligning” series here on our main website.