October/November 2014 - Vol. 76
Wellington branch -Lamb of God
  Lamb of God branch in Wellington, New Zealand
.The Cutting Edge of Our Call as a Christian
Community Is Simply to Be...

.a a reflection on the Lamb of God national community in New Zealand 

by Roger Foley

I travel and move around a lot in my service. As a result I often work with pastors and people across various streams of the overall church. This is a huge privilege for me. Yes I am a Catholic and well committed to my church, but from the beginning of my journey in Christ I have been blessed with an exposure to, and appreciation of, the richness of the work of God across many streams and denominations. God is at work in a greatness and glory far wider than most of us would see if we are focused only on a narrow appreciation. A narrow appreciation can also develop within us a judgemental approach which for me conflicts immediately with the words of Jesus in Chapter 17 in the Gospel of John.

 And we have a clear warning from Paul in Ephesians 6:12: ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ So why do we invest ourselves in ‘struggling with mere flesh and blood’ - because the battle is elsewhere?

 A great gift to the National Community is our Nelson Branch where you will find a sustained long term focus in praying into protection for us in this spiritual realm.

Call to shared life in ecumenical Christian community
In the
Lamb of God we have a particular call within this rich mosaic of the work of God. It is not an easy call. But it is an important call because it is a call of God and its end purpose and intent is known to God. We are called to live in an Ecumenical Christian Community. Not just on Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays. Not just from 9.00 to 5.00pm. Not just when we feel like it. Not just for three or four years. But we are called to substantially live our Christianity within this particular Christian Community named the Lamb of God.

Our national community has its place within the worldwide ‘Community of Communities’ called the ‘Sword of the Spirit’, which is established in twenty-eight countries [and growing] with seventy-five members communities and dozens more in relationship or formation. Is that a work of God, or not? It is an amazing work of God, and you and I are a part of this work.

Lamb of God
                          community meeting

What do you do as a Christian community?
As I travel and relate in a variety of circumstances the most frequent question I am asked is ‘but what do you do as a community?’ I have always maintained that ‘simply being’ is our main call.

Living as a Christian people today and displaying love, support, forgiveness, and sharing our lives and praying together, is sufficient in itself to ‘justify’ our existence.

But because of and out of our life together, we do more. We have outreaches, run seminars, visit prisons, reach out to those in need, and a lot more. And here in Christchurch we live in a cluster, which does impact and display values to neighbors. It used to be a nicely laid our part of the city until it was pounded in the earthquakes.

So on the first of September we will have been living our lives together in very changed and challenging circumstances for 1,276 days [and counting] since the devastation hit the eastern suburbs. But by God’s grace no one has left the community and walked away despite the significant increase in stress and strain and increased daily hardships. If we were not blessed in grace to ‘live as a people’ in love and forgiveness and sharing - we would no longer exist. But the Lord is with us. And that grace at work is evidenced to others and it is opening doors because it is there, it is ‘simply being’ who we are in our response in this call to live for God.

See related article  on Lamb of God > Land of Awesome Beauty - Land That Can Take Your Life

Roger Foley is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God Community. He and his wife Veronica live in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

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