Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Thursday, July 2

Today’s Readings: Psalm 109; 1 Samuel 22:1-23; John 21:20-25; 2 Corinthians 13:1-6; Psalm 141

One of the most important discoveries I made during my seminary years came at the very end of my studies. At the time I was taking a class called “Advanced Leadership” that helped me co-facilitate a group of first year seminarians. In that class we explored something called Family Systems Theory. It was a theory largely put together by a gentleman named Edwin Friedman. The crux of the theory emphasizes that the health of a community is largely determined by the health of the individuals within that community. In order to increase the vitality of a community, Friedman suggested, the individuals within that community need to do their own work. One of the many ways individuals do that work is by setting healthy boundaries for themselves in order to keep the focus where it belongs: on oneself and one’s behavior, and not on others and their behavior. (I would add parenthetically that if you’d like to hear more about Family Systems Theory and the way it can bring increased health into your life and relationships, please join us at Mountain View for our Thursday evening conversation group from 6:30-7:30 PM at the church as we explore Friedman’s book “Friedman’s Fables”.) Nevertheless, I was reminded of all of this by today’s Gospel reading from John. And what’s the passage have to do with Family Systems Theory and healthy boundaries? Well, in the passage Peter does his best to interject himself into a situation that had nothing to do with himself; he tried to get the inside scoop on what was going to happen to the beloved disciple. If Jesus had done what many of us - myself included - would have done, he would have gotten defensive or tried to rationalize his course of action with the beloved disciple to Peter. Jesus did neither. Instead, he kept Peter’s focus where it belonged when he said: “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You – follow me” (John 21:22 from The Message). What a powerful reminder to us all to tend to ourselves and our own issues. Today, I would invite you to use that reminder to see if there are places in your life where you’ve tried to interject yourself that have nothing to do with you. Perhaps you have done so as a way of avoiding your own stuff. If so, use Jesus’ words to Peter as a call to centering: “You – follow me.” Til next time…

No comments: