More like a metamorphosis than a transformer shift from car to robot, we become brand new. Our transformation takes us from being tied to a life and death that begins and ends here. We step into a kingdom run by the one who knows what's what. We lean into God's arms, wipe our tears on his sleeve, grasp his hand in friendship, and go with God. We're still shivered by our homelessness, but we feel the armchair's welcome warmth in the living room of God, wafting toward us, and waiting for us to join him and all those who went before us.

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7 letters to the seven churches

Read Revelation - Chapter 1, beginning at verse 17, ending at Chapter 2, verse 22.

Each church, told to John by Jesus in a vision for all time, identifies a set of vastly different expressions of Church. These seven churches seem to scripturally represent a categorization of Christian variety, denominational arms, in what Jesus gathers as a unified community of one faith under him, the shepherd.

We are transforming when we realize the significance of camaraderie and culture, structure and mission, faithfulness and truth, in the elements of church community. We accept our transformation when we sit among the gathered where the Holy Spirit has put us, recognizing that the body is available to us everywhere. Where will we be available to everyone else?

Know your gifts

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Read in scripture about gifts in several places, including Isaiah 11:1-3 (wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder).

Paul, in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12 also talks of gifts, distributed by the Holy Spirit. He cites, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, and interpretation of tongues.

A transforming heart commits to God by allowing their lives to be taken up in partnership with his Spirit. In effect, we become fully human by walking with the Spirit, using what God has given us to journey in everything we do.

Once we recognize the gifts that God has given us, we know our place in the Body of Christ. We aren't just worthy, but engaged. We are part of a body.


Radiate the Beatitudes

Faith hope and love are what we see partially in this life, but the greatest of these is love, Paul said. Jesus counted out eight blessings in the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew. This is how we should live.

Blessed are we when we love. When we are poor in the spirit, when we mourn, when we are meek, when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, when we are merciful and pure of heart, when we are peacemakers, and when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

Righteousness is to be judged as leading a life pleasing to God.

We are children of the beatitudes when we experience God being these things with us, and embrace his friendship, his sovereign place and being, and his presence. 

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