August 2017 Teaching: The Place of Belonging
What does it mean to belong? Belonging is where our identity lies and is rooted. As human beings we all need a place to belong and Jesus came to restore that place of belonging in Him; our right relationship with God. The journey towards God always begins with that sense of being accepted and entering into the invitation to belong; to be part of. From there, we grow into believing and that in turn shapes our behaving, as we are transformed by the presence of Jesus in our lives through the encounter of His Holy Spirit. The four areas we are looking at this month are centred on the Kingdom of God as being an inclusive community and majors on the fact that we are a gathered people of God, called to gather others into His Kingdom. It is He who first called us into community. His commission is to go to all nations—i.e. all people groups and make disciples. As well as gathering those who have no experience of God, there are also those we call prodigals, who once belonged but are/were lost, (for whose return God yearns) and also those who ”don’t fit in”—the marginalised, outcasts, rejected, despised, disadvantaged. This theme plays an important part of our vision as the body of Christ here in Rainham and Wennington—Putting the community in touch with Jesus.