Dave Brisbin 9.5.21
In the poetic manner of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus starts by painting a portrait of the person who has become the Kingdom of Heaven…not entered or possessed it, but has actually come to embody God’s “reign,” God’s will being done on earth. His deepest purpose and pleasure: humility, connection, faithfulness—lived out in human form.

Jesus then transitions to show us the effect such people have on the lives and communities around them with two of his most famous metaphors. Salt and light.

When Jesus says a Kingdom person is the light of the world, that makes sense to us. There’s enough cultural overlap for us to see light as symbolizing an obviously positive effect. But what about salt? Why would Jesus choose salt alongside light? For most of us living a culture built on technology that includes refrigeration and antibiotics, salt has been relegated to table seasoning. But in the ancient world, salt was life itself.

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The human body is about sixty percent salt water, same salinity as seawater, and humans and mammals can’t function without salt in their diet. Salt is one of the five basic tastes, but also has the ability to bring out other flavors and add zest to food. Salt kills bacteria. Ancient people didn’t know about bacteria, but knew that salting meat, fruits, and vegetables preserved them and rubbing salt in their wounds healed them. If soil is too acidic to grow crops, salt can be used as fertilizer to balance pH. Salt was so critical to ancient life that it was used as currency—traded equally for gold, silver, fine linen. Treaties were ratified with salt. Temple sacrifices and anointing oil were salted as the symbol of faithfulness, purity, fertility. To purify and preserve life, fertilize new life, add zest and security to life. Jesus’ first followers would have immediately followed his metaphor. Who is salt in your life? Who binds your wounds, both physical and emotional? Who encourages you and open doors of new possibility? Who makes you laugh and leaves you better at each encounter? And who would say this of you? When we become Kingdom in ourselves, we become salt in others at the very same time.
 

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

Since we’re all recovering, we accept everyone right as they are—no expiration dates or deadlines. We don’t tell anyone what to believe or do. We present points of view that we hope will engage seekers in their own journey; help them unlearn limiting perceptions, beliefs, and compulsions; give opportunities to get involved in community, building the trust we all need to find real identity, meaning, and purpose. In other words, to engage the transforming Way of living life that Jesus called Kingdom…non-religiously understood from a first century Hebrew point of view.

 

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Embedded in the fun and laughter of each of our gatherings and events is the connection and accountability as well as the structure, discipline, and opportunity for service that authentic community is all about. We help create programs for physical support, emotional recovery, and spiritual formation that can meet any person’s needs. Such programs work at two levels: first to address a person’s physical and emotional stability—clinical, financial, relational,professional—anything that distracts from working on the second level: true spiritual formation centered around the contemplative way of life defined by an original Hebrew understanding of the message of Jesus.

Rather than telling people what to believe or think, we model and encourage engagement in a personal and communal spiritual journey that allows people to experience their own worthiness of connection and acceptance, to find the freedom from underlying fears that brings real meaning and purpose into focus.

 

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Seeing ourselves as a learning and recovery community that worships together, the focus isn’t on Sunday morning alone, but on every day of the week as we gather for worship, healing and support workshops, studies, 12 step meetings, counseling and mentoring sessions, referral services, and social events. We maintain a food pantry for those needing more support, a recovery worship gathering, and child care for those with little ones.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and our Recovery gathering on Tuesdays at 7PM. Both gatherings include worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. See our monthly calendar and our Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening each week. You can also sign up on our elist for email enews updates.

 

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