(In The Life Of The Church)
The Discerning Community
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Year A in the lectionary makes extensive use of Matthew. This being the case, I wanted to make a kind of hermeneutical observation about the book. N. T. Wright argues that Jesus’s presence in the discerning community is one of the themes of the book (see v 20). Having worn Wright’s idea for a couple of years, I think he is correct. Matthew says so many important things for and about the community, but at the heart of it is the reality that none of it, including the sermon on the mount, works well without the presence of the community.
Let me change directions for a minute. I have a friend from the Homestead Heritage who recently sent me a book to read about the community’s formation. Most of the book is dedicated to the origins and development of Anabaptist history. That history includes some brutal and heartless persecution of Anabaptists which included the murder of women and children. Some of that persecution lasted all the way up until the first world war and occurred on American soil. As I was reading this I was reminded of how costly following Jesus can be. I find reading the account of the martyrs to be an important practice from time to time because it reminds me how high the stakes can get, like they did for 20th century German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed for standing up to the Nazis.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that ultimate sacrifice so that I can talk about another form of it.. There is another costly part of Christianity, and while it won’t cost you your life, it will cost you your right to privacy. I have made a discovery about myself in these last few years. If I don’t feel safe enough in a relationship to disagree, even have a good fight, then I tend not to value the relationship as much as one where I can. This surprises me. I am by nature very conflict averse, and yet I’ve discovered that relationships that can handle conflict and survive it tend to lend themselves to a kind of intimacy that’s unique to those relationships.
So Matthew gives us a model for this. If someone has offended you, talk to them about it. If they are belligerent, get the opinion of another and the two of you confront them. If that doesn’t work then get the whole church involved; and if even that doesn’t work, it’s time to cut ties.
I don’t think Paul had in mind something like UBC. There are about 500 of us and even Toph, Jamie and myself couldn't tell you who everyone is. That matters because being given the right to speak into someone’s life is a privilege that is earned, yet the truth is we can’t possibly invite 500 people into our lives in a meaningful way.
Paul’s church was likely a house church and if it got too big, they’d probably split and then plant like monkey grass. So inviting the church in probably meant something like 50 people - maybe not even that many. So it’s worth asking though: Do you engage in this kind of costly Christianity? Do you have one or two people, maybe even 50 that you trust enough to let them tell you that you are wrong? It’s daunting and it’s painful and it’s necessary. Think about it.
If you have made a financial contribution this year that could have been recorded in our records, you should have a giving statement available for your tax return in the lobby of UBC this Sunday the 29th, and next Sunday February 5th. Statements not picked up either of those Sundays will be mailed.
Thailand Missionary Partners
This Sunday, January 29th, the missionaries we work with in Thailand will be at UBC, and they would love to meet you. This is a great time to get know the family, and learn more about our work in Thailand. We will be in the Backside from 9:30-10:15 on Sunday morning, and there will be coffee and kolaches. Please take a few moments to come back and introduce yourself, and get to know the folks we work with on the other side of the globe. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents Night Out
will take place next Friday night from 6-9, February 3rd at UBC. Interested parents can sign up this Sunday or email email@example.com.
Leadership Team Meeting
lease be in prayer for our leadership team which meets this Sunday night for our quarterly leadership team meeting. If you would like to put forth an item to be discussed or considered please email any of our leadership team members whose emails can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.
One of our ministry partners, Baylor Spiritual Life, is hosting and enneagram workshop. Interested persons should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Work is Worship
Mug Cleaners: Chase Potter
Money Counter: Doug
- Sunday Sermon: Matthew 5:1-12 "Meeting Jesus Again: Paradigm Shifter"
- February 12th - Love Lovefeast
- February 18--The Middle Ages -- TBA
- March 1st - Ash Wednesday
- March 18-- The Middle Ages -- TBA
- April 2-- UBC Families @ Soccer Fields -- More Info to Come
- April 7th and 8th - Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores)
- April 13th - Maundy Thursday
- April 14th - Good Friday
- April 16th - Easter
- April 22--The Middle Ages Baylor Theatre production of the comedy NOISES OFF—
- April 30th - Mr. Rogers Sund
- April 30th - Graduate Luncheon
- May 2nd - Study Hall
Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor?
254 413 2611
If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members.
Chair- Jon Davis: email@example.com
Joy Wineman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu
Adam Winn: email@example.com
Bridget Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharyl Loeung: email@example.com
Emma Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org
UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: email@example.com
Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com
Doug McNamee: firstname.lastname@example.org
UBC HR Team
If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.
Maxcey Blaylock: email@example.com
Mathew Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: email@example.com