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Some of you have asked this question several times, so I'm going to attempt giving you an answer. It's not my answer, mind you. It's Wikipedia's response to the question!
In all antiquity the Jews first read Scriptural selections randomly, but by the Medieval era had standardized a schedule of scripture readings to be read in the synagogue. A sequential selection was read from the Torah, followed by the "haftarah" – a selection from the prophetic books or historical narratives (e.g. "Judges," "Kings," etc.). Jesus probably read a providentially "random" reading when he read from Isaiah 61:1-2, as recorded in Luke 4:16-21, when he inaugurated his public ministry. The early Christians adopted the Jewish custom of reading extracts from the Old Testament on the sabbath. They soon added extracts from the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists.
“… that which is born of Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6b (NASB)
The faith journey we find ourselves living is a spiritual journey from start to finish. This spiritual journey begins with our first breath, and it’s one none of us can escape … to breathe, to be alive is to be spiritual. This truth means many things for each of us, and the ways Spirit expresses are as varied and diverse as our DNA. It’s our belief that the goal of any spiritual/religious exercise or discipline is the reconnection with, recognition of or realization that we are Spirit(ual) beings through and through, and that nothing can, or will, ever change this.
It's our belief that Jesus came to show us who we truly are, spirit(ual) beings. It's something many of us find hard to believe, and even harder to live out. Jesus continues calling us back to the truth of who we really are and offering us the Holy Spirit as a guide, companion and support on this journey home, to our Selves.
Last week, during the forum with the pastoral candidate (me), someone asked “What is your vision for Imani?” Well, this little treatise is my attempt at answering this question. Yet, I choose to answer a variation of this question: What is my vision of Imani?
“In your patience possess ye your souls.”
- Luke 21:19 (KJV)
“By standing firm you will gain life.”
- Luke 21:19 (NIV)
“Staying with it - that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.”
- Luke 21:19 (TMG)
Preparing to Cross Over
“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves,
for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.’”
Joshua 3:5 (NIV)
Retreat Intention/Purpose: It is our deepest, most reverent intention to be ushered by Spirit into a place within ourselves and within this faith community called Imani MCC that allows us to move to the next phase, the next level, of ministry God is calling us to, that place where God does amazing things among, in, through and as us … and to do so easily, effortlessly, elegantly and under Grace.