Christmas/Advent Discipleship

Bore the Hell out of ’em this Christmas

Martin Luff, the Deliberate Disciple (a great blog I recommend!), pointed out this great article by David Fitch about finding space in our busy lives to meet with God.  This is especially timely for this season of Advent:

Recently, I was meeting in the corner booth (of the local McDonald’s) with the men in my triad (spiritual formation group) and we were talking about our Sunday morning gathering. I said “one of the best things our gathering can do for people is bore the hell out of em.” Sorry if this seems counter intuitive but I nonetheless believe it is true – literally true. Let me explain……

It is stunning to me how many many people I encounter in a month who cannot even acquire even a modicum of mind space cleared of societal clutter to meet God.  We live in a society where God is being organized out of our life experience (and this is most certainly true of our young people). If we don’t have the means to discipline our lives from societal noise, real living with God, listening and responding to his voice is lost from our horizon. God becomes an item to believe, an obligation to take care alongside the many others. And then, and I am dead serious here, other demons take over our lives. Our loneliness/our emptiness becomes filled by multivarious forms of fake pornogaphic substitutes. Demons take over. I see it everywhere.

In the midst of this, sometimes the best place (the only place) I can point people to is the gathering on Sunday morning. Go to the gathering. Not to get pumped up and inspired. Not to take some notes on the three things you can do to improve your Christian life. NO! Go to the gathering to shut down from all the noise – to submit yourself to Christ – the practice of confession – the listening to the Word – the submission to the receiving of the gift for life at the Table – to then once you have seen God again, praise Him as the one true source of your life in Jesus Christ……

The challenge at Advent is not to have a show that will entertain everyone into romanticizing Jesus….Instead, the challenge at Advent is to learn how to wait for Him. Learn patience and wait.

This is good stuff.  I am guilty of being a pastor whose default mode is “mobilizing” people into being ACTIVE Jesus followers who are busy serving others and working hard to further God’s Kingdom.  But there needs to be a balance, and I am trying to push PAUSE this Christmas from all our church planting efforts, and to make space in my own life and the life of our community to just REST in the peace of God come down to us in the Prince of Peace whose birth we celebrate.

So, I’m going to give myself freedom to make our December gatherings a bit more boring than usual — if that is even possible. :)

Dr. Jeremy Berg is the founding and Lead Pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Minnetonka Beach, MN, where he has served since 2010. He is an Adjunct Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Bethel University, University of Northwestern—St. Paul, North Central University, and Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy earned a doctorate in New Testament Context under Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary (Chicago). He and his wife, Kjerstin, have three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

1 comment on “Bore the Hell out of ’em this Christmas

  1. Pingback: I’ll Be Home For Christmas « Daily Illumination

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