So Beautiful – Relational Life
I started (and almost finished) part two of So Beautiful this morning. This part discusses the “R” of the MRI model that Sweet introduces in the beginning of the book. I know I haven’t mentioned this before, but in my excitement and zeal for this awesome book I sort of overlooked that piece. MRI stands for missional, relational, and incarnational. Yesterday, in part two, the discussion was on the missional aspect of our faith (missional God the Father, missional Jesus, missional Holy Spirit, missional Church, missional you, and missional me); great, great stuff in part one. Part two, as mentioned is about relational; that is the relational aspect of our faith (once again…relational God the Father, relational Jesus, relational Holy Spirit, relational Church, relational Creation, relational you, relational me, relational us…and relational…relational). Yeah. This story and explanation is so wonderfully assembled in So Beautiful. I am enjoying it so much that I can’t wait to start over and read it again. I don’t think I’ve said that about many books outside of the Bible. I am finding this study to be so affirming in what is already in my own heart, and in addition, I’m finding answers (connecting dots and filling in blanks) for things I didn’t have answers to. I’m being stimulated to study, encouraged to action, and clarified in my focus.
It is probably greatly attributed to my own learning style, but I love the enormous diversity of teaching, knowledge, and experiential thinking that Len Sweet draws upon to present his material. The story is so robust there doesn’t seem to be a dry or dull moment as he weaves the delightfully eloquent narrative of So Beautiful.
I leave my thoughts this morning with this comment on relational and a quote from Len Sweet and So Beautiful. It is God Himself that chose us to be conformed to His Son and His Image; “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29) And, it was Jesus who prayed the following:
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one-as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:20-23)
And finally, from Len Sweet…
“Gospel holiness is to so be in a relationship with Chris that your life channels the name and nature of God: love. I know this word channeling has the smell of new-age sewage. But sometimes no other word will do when something or someone else has gotten greasy from too much fingering. What else do you call it but channeling when the Jesus who is of one substance with the Father wants to be of one substance with every human being? It is more than our vocation as ‘channels’ of God’s peace, as Saint Francis is alleged to have put it. It is that we are channeling the very presence and power of the Prince of Peace.”
“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” Jesus (John 17:25-26)