Dave Brisbin | 2.3.19
Situated on the liturgical calendar between Christmas and Easter, between Jesus’ birth and death, is a perfect time to look at Jesus’ life—to look at balancing what he lived and how he loved with the more theologically significant events of his birth, death, and resurrection. It’s a perfect time to consider how living as he lived would give theological significance to our own birth and death. But our western church roots go deep, and making that balancing shift can be difficult unless as Jesus says: we grow new ears to hear. Using parables to break through what we think we already know and how we already hear, Jesus gives us the story of the Sower, which is really more about the Four Soils. But as he speaks of seed falling on the beaten path, rocks, and thorns as well as on good soil, church ears have heard him speaking of four different types of people who break down to two basic groups: believers and non-believers, those who accept Jesus theologically and those who don’t, us and them. 

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Digging deep into the Aramaic underpinnings of Jesus’ saying, we find layers of meaning that put us in the center of the story: that ultimately each one of us is all four soils all at once. That we all have the blind spots, the hard baked stubborn spots, and the unhealed hurting spots that keep us from fully embracing a new truth, even as our good soil embraces others. If we willing to give little ground, Jesus is showing us how to prepare our soil and grow new ears that will grow good crops.

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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.

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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.

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