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January 08, 2019

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Eric H Janzen

Thank you for your comment, Jon. I think you make an excellent point and I don't think it is all that tiny either. Perhaps the invitation could be done in both ways. The community acknowledges the Presence of Jesus in their midst and thank him for his invitation to experience the reality of his Presence. The community would also invite Jesus to do what he wants to do in our midst for our time together. Or something like that.

cheers,
eric h janzen

Jon

This is excellent article. I do resonate with most of your reflections on the current condition of institutional churches. The suggested flow of church gathering is very good. It gives an open space for both the Holy Spirit to move and the church participants to really engage in mutual edification. I would like to suggest nevertheless a tiny point. How about, instead of inviting Jesus to be present in the gathering, we instead invite ourselves to be present in Him. Jesus is always present. It is Him who waits for us to be present in His presence.

eric h janzen

Gerald, I agree with you, but from a distinct vantage point as we both see the sacred beauty of Jesus in the Body because of what we have experienced and walked through. The issue we now face though are people who are so disillusioned with the Church, they aren't able to see that sacredness. Indeed, there are many now for whom the Gospel story and all that it contains is largely unknown. This is why I think the Church needs to place far more emphasis on both the story of Jesus and the reality of his resurrection...understanding and experience of Him will lead people to that reverence as they recognize Jesus' presence within his Church. I don't want to say it, but I will: the Church has not represented her Lord very well in far too many instances (and I would say that is true of all streams in one way or another). I love the Church despite her blemishes, but I also love the Church enough to say we need to be thinking about who we are and why we are. If Jesus is not the central answer, then we are in serious trouble both spiritually and practically speaking.

Eric H Janzen

Gerald Janzen

Eric, I would agree with what you say. I would add, however, that the Church is the body of Christ on earth. It, therefore, has an element of sacredness about it that ought to excite our reverence and respect regardless of our opinions.

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