14 December, 2007

Advent Conspiracy

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Well, we're signed up. Advent Conspiracy is advocating that we spend worship more, spend less, give more and love all this Christmas. Churches from all over the world are signing up and seeing as this has been a major theme for us at The Journey this Christmas, I thought I'd add our name to their list. Check out their brochure and resources (podcasts, videos, etc.) for encouragement and info.

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12 December, 2007

What is The Journey?

It's been a long hiatus on the blog scene for The Journey but we've still been active. As I look back through the posts it's fun to see how we've grown. Along the way each member of the group has come up with ways of explaining to people just who we are or what it is that we do. This is my standard answer to the question, "What is The Journey?":

The Journey is a church of mission. To be a part of the core means that you too have a mission. On the broad scale this is obviously the mission of Jesus but how that plays out is different for each of us. Each year we let the community know where we feel God is calling us, how the community can pray for us and how they can become involved in our mission. Missions range from joining local neighborhood councils to befriending our neighbors to raising our kids in the Way of Jesus to coaching basketball, etc. After this we live out these missions and come alongside one another in support, weather it be child minding, house cleaning before a party, praying, financing, etc. In this way our missions become intertwined as well as our networks of friends. We have values as a community too. We value the centrality of the Bible and how it speaks into the life of our community. When we gather on Sundays for brunch someone usually has prepared to lead a discussion centered on a chapter or two of Scripture. In discussion we try to work out how the passages apply both to our last week and our next week of ministry. We also value our involvement with those who normally wouldn't find themselves in institutional churches. We each aim to have about 50% of our network be people who would not yet consider themselves followers of Christ. To do this we tend to live life outside the institutional church and become intentional about spending free time in third-spaces such as pubs, coffee shops, etc. We also value service and believe that unless we serve our local community in tangible ways we are not actually following Christ. We value fun and believe that life in Christ is exciting and fulfilling (even though it can be extremely stretching and challenging) so you will often find us hosting or attending parties, concerts and pubs. As a group we hold each other accountable to these values as well as try to encourage and support one another as Christ would. I have never felt so alive in church then I do now. This is because church is not a noun but a verb. We never go to church, we just church. When one of us is life-coaching, she is churching, when I'm meeting with a teen, I'm churching. When we party with our neighbors, we church. Church has become alive and vibrant and integrated into our daily lives. What's more, if I don't church then The Journey suffers. I have never felt more empowered of enabled to be a disciple of Christ than I do now.

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08 April, 2007

Easter: We Are Brought Back

“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer." Isaiah 54:7-8

The brief moment has passed. Sunday is here. The Christ is alive. We are gathered back. Scattered humanity is returned to their appropriate place through the power of Jesus' resurrection. We had abandoned God and He brought us back.

The real truth of Easter is that God holds us fast, whoever we are, whatever we've done and whatever our situation, however you and I may feel or whatever we may think, no matter how bad a mood we're in, God chooses us. He abandoned Christ and now will never do the same to us. This is the good news. And this is good news for me by the very fact that I still choose again and again to abandon Him. In spite of this, He is present, he does not abandon us, even when we cannot help thinking ourselves abandoned. The truth is that He is completely and utterly ours and we may be completely and utterly His.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

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07 April, 2007

For a Brief Moment: Good Friday

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Ps. 22:1; Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34.

Easter is on the horizon but we have nothing to celebrate on Easter if we have nothing to contemplate on Good Friday. We can not understand the joy, the glory and the hope of Easter if we do not dwell on Good Friday. What will happen on Sunday is the explanation, the revelation, of the mystery which takes place today on Friday. But it is a 'Good' Friday because we know our Friday has a Sunday. It would be a day of mourning if there were no day of resurrection ahead. By the same token however an Easter without a Good Friday could only be a day of empty festivity, which it has become to so many these days. So let us celebrate Easter properly and remember his death today.

What do you think it was like on Good Friday? What was the moment like when God breathed his final breath? Matthew describes it this way:
"From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” — which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
And then later,
"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit."
Now I've often been shocked to think that in the last moments of Christ's life he'd cry out these words of abandonment, especially considering he'd just previously prayed, "Not my will, but your will be done." But I believe that we must hold on to this cry of abandonment, that to remember Friday as Good is to hold on to this abandonment. Here's why - Jesus shouted out that question in that way at that point because he literally could not help but feel and experience the abandonment of God for a brief moment. And this abandonment was horrific. It is the father turning his back on his Son, knowing the Son has done nothing to deserve this and knowing that he could stop it and knowing that his Son knows that he could stop it. It is the Father choosing to abandon a Son who has done everything he can to follow and obey Him. It was not Jesus abandoning his Father. No, in fact by being willing to be abandoned Jesus was determined to let only God's will be done. Christ set upon a journey that could only lead him to the place where God wanted to, and only could, abandon him, and actually did abandon him.
This is Friday. This is that brief moment.

So what journey was it that led Christ to this abandonment? Why would a Father choose to abandon his innocent Son? It was his journey to humanity; his journey to you; his journey to me. He journeyed into darkness, where Israel remained because of their great unfaithfulness, where all of humanity belongs because of our constant rebellion in the face of our Creator. It is His journey to us who have chosen to abandon Him and abandon Him again and again. God defies our decision to abandon Him and in Jesus, God entered into our godforsakenness.

Why does He do this? Why does He journey to those who have chosen to abandon Him? The answer is simple and profound and why we can call Friday 'Good.' God is for his people Israel. He is for the whole of humankind. He is for you and He is for me. And in the place of us He is the one struck by God's wrath and abandoned by God so that apart from Him no one need suffer again in the same way. He journeyed into our willful abandoning of God which should have been our due, to take it upon Himself and in the divine power granted to Him, to remove it, so that it would not be necessary, or permissible to come our way again. Jesus shouts the question, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" so that neither you or I would ever be able to.

Today is Friday and, “For a brief moment I abandoned you..." Isaiah 54:7

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24 January, 2007


Ever wonder who's representing you in the government? A new site hopes to interview and podcast each of the elected TDs for your viewing pleasure. Check out Dáil30 and see who you voted for.

23 January, 2007


A few of us will be making the trip up to Belfast to take part in the Soliton discussions happening up there. The event will actually go on from Feb 1st-4th but I think we're only going to be able to make the day trip on Thursday. Anyone interested in a lift up there from Dublin, send us an email.

Who are We and Where are We Going?

Those who have been involved with The Journey at the core level know that we have no idea what we're doing. In fact there's even skepticism as to whether we can call what we do church. Well, last Sunday the questions of identity arose again and will be carried on next Sunday for those wanting to join us in discussion. Here are some of the questions on the table:

What are some rhythms which might be useful/beneficial for us as a community?  

Of course any rhythms we actually practice will grow out of the things which we hold dear, which are valuable to us.  What would you say are some core values we currently hold? 

Should we aim to create a community in which to bring others into or should we aim to bring Jesus into communities that already exist? Is there a difference in the approaches?

Borg on John 3:16

Beliefnet.com has a great video piece with Marcus Borg who helps us rethink our understanding of John 3:16. He asserts that John wasn't talking about some future time when we might attain eternal life but that John was asserting that we can have eternal life now. In other words, this verse isn't about getting to heaven, it's about heaven getting here.

100th Post and a New Feel

Well I've gone and upgraded the website again. We are using a new version of blogger so it only seemed natural. Oh, and this is the 100th post. Feels like a milestone.


14 January, 2007


We gathered again this Sunday morning but instead of our regular brunch and Bible chat we listened to a talk given my Mike Frost somewhere in Canada. Marilyn had found it online at resonate.ca. There are in fact 13 talks by Frost there as well as others (N.T. Wright, McLaren, etc.).