Here we are at the Isn’t She Beautiful conference in Grand Rapids. We had to leave from Sarnia around 430am this morning and I will tell you, Darryl hasn’t showered in at least three days, and she isn’t too beautiful. Mars Hill has got a cool feel to it. It’s an old shopping mall converted into a church. So the main auditorium is circular and all the seats are circled around the main stage in a complete circle. Rob Bell jumped right into the message this morning and talked for a good hour and a half straight and now we have a ten minute break and into another hour session before lunch.
It’s a lot of speaking, and I’ve never been a very good listener when its lecture style, so I’m trying not to fall asleep. Bell is a great communicator though that keeps me listening for most of the time. I’ll try to blog my thoughts and some notes from the conference over the next few days.
The entire message so far has been on the idea of Eucharist. Taking the greek word ‘eu’ which means well or good, the Greek word ‘charizomai’ which means to grant or give and the Greek word ‘charis’ which means grace or gift. Put them together and you have Eucharist. Coming from the foundation of this word he launched into the first session. We have been all over the place but the basic message has been that the body of Christ (us) is meant to be good (God sent Jesus as a gift and we are his body so we are supposed to be a gift) and what that looks like practically.
Would anyone care if your church shut down? Would anyone protest? These are practical questions to ask to see if we really are being the Eucharist in our neighborhoods.
This holds a lot of weight. To be the body of Christ means a lot of things. It means that we will also be broken and bled for the people we are loving. It means that we will be drained. Taking a look at 1 Corinthians 11 again Bell suggests that maybe when it says do this in remembrance of me, maybe it’s not just eating some break and drinking some wine but it actually means to be broken and to bleed like he has for the world.
He also jumped into 1 Corinthians 9 when Paul is talking about becoming a Jew to reach the Jew and a Gentile to reach the Gentiles and weak to reach the weak. He pointed out that nowhere in there does he says that he becomes strong to reach the strong. The Eucharist is in weakness, in coming together acknowledging that we have nothing to give and having all lost our ego and that we choose humanity over perfection and just say that “all we have to give is ourselves.”
He spent some of the last part focusing on resting and taking a Sabbath and how important it is for those practicing the Eucharist to make this part of their lives. It is natural to be drained in ways that the rest of the world isn’t used to when leading the church and we need to rest in ways that the world isn’t used to also.
He is starting a question and answer now, so more to come.