Fully Alive, Utterly Secure, Completely Fulfilled

In September 2012, Karen King at Harvad Divinity School showcased an ancient manuscript (from the second century A.D.) that mentions Jesus speaking about “my wife.” The manuscript does not prove anything about the real, historical Jesus (you can check out the story here), but its coverage in the media brings up an important element as we think about western culture. Jesus’ singleness is a difficult reality for us to grasp. According to Scripture, Jesus was without sin, and he never married. Therefore, Christians believe that he never had sex. In western culture, sex is deeply entrenched in how we find value as individuals. I remember a conversation with some of my non-Christian friends where it came up that I was a virgin (I was 27 at the time). One friend was completely taken aback. She could hardly believe it, asking multiple times to clarify.

Jesus was a virgin. This fact reveals a truth that we are too often unable to accept: Sex says nothing about your worth or value. Even as a virgin, Jesus was fully alive, utterly secure, completely fulfilled as a human being.

I remember one of the chapel speakers when I was at Ozark Christian College. He was a pastor probably in his 50s who had suddenly lost his wife and was left to raise his family by himself. He was now alone with sexual desires that he didn’t know how to face. His comfort was that his Lord (Jesus Christ) went without sex and was completely fulfilled and productive in his life and ministry. This is something that can be quite alien to those who don’t call Christ Lord.

I guess you could say: Jesus was fulfilled sexually…without having sex.

I’ll say it again: Even as a virgin, Jesus was fully alive, utterly secure, completely fulfilled as a human being.

Fully Alive, Utterly Secure, Completely Fulfilled

The Language of Spiritual Balance

Live like Jesus.

I never realized it before, but every church has their own way of saying the same thing about spiritual balance – living like Jesus. When I started making a list, I was shocked!

Up, In, Out (3DM)
With Jesus, In Community, On Mission (Southland Christian)
Trust God, Love People, Serve the World (Forefront NYC)
Faith, Love, Hope (Mosaic CA)
Celebrate, Connect, Contribute (Community Christian)
Discover, Connect, Serve (Trader’s Point Christian)
Love God, Love People (many churches)UpInOutTriangle
Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk humbly (Micah 6:8)

Every church is saying the same thing. They just use different language. I like to think of each aspect as a relationship. The key is finding the right balance in all three.

We must constantly ask of our church, our ministry, and our lives: “Which relationship needs attention?” We will always have seasons where we need  to focus on one relationship over the others. When churches are not intentional about evaluating their ministry by all three relationships, they almost always default to doing well with two:
– A church that cares for insiders and has strong teaching, but where outsiders are not as welcomed.
– A church that is evangelistic and loving, but with shallow theology.
– A church that has strong teaching and focuses on evangelism, but has a hard time building true community.

Currently Everyday Church is in the process of starting to use “Up, In, & Out” to help us find balance. I also really like the sound of living “With Jesus, In Community, On Mission.”

How does your church say it, and what are some ways you keep balance?

The Language of Spiritual Balance