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This daily post is designed to help you live into our New Room Society covenant of practicing daily prayer together. Below is this week’s theme and daily practice.
Week 25: Openness
In 2001 the United Methodists adopted the “Open hearts, open minds, open doors” tagline. How will your ministry be perceived by those outside the church with regard to openness?
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20, New Living Translation (NLT)
The people called Methodist certainly aren’t the only ones to struggle with openness. In truth, the struggle could be traced to the advent of Jesus, who might have been the poster child for openness, if they’d had such a thing in his day.
Jews and Jesus-followers, even sects within the very early church… If this idea were not so important we wouldn’t have records of such trials and conflicts over it.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, it’s clear there are frustrations between church leaders and the people in the church:
“Corinthians, we have been completely open to you. We’ve exposed the truth, holding nothing back while our hearts open wide to take you in. We have revealed our affection toward you—though it’s obvious you have a hard time showing your affection toward us. If I could offer some fatherly advice: open yourselves up as children; share your hearts with us as we have done for you.” 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, The Voice (VOICE)
Part of the reason it’s hard for us is because the idea can be tough to put boundaries on. Who is truly to be included in our gatherings? Who is permitted to lead them? Should we even have boundaries on the notion of openness?
This will be something that you wrestle with over and over again, and your transparency as you wrestle will draw (or repel) others. How well will you live in the tension?
Sunday: “Our Beliefs, Their Hearts”
The people called Methodist entered the advertising age in earnest with this campaign. How closely does your ministry connect with this? What emotions come up when you watch? Are there specific, direct repercussions in your ministry?