Recently, Rachel (my wife) and I put together a poster to put up around Lethbridge to advertise the O2 service. I thought I’d do up a post for it because I’ve had some interesting reactions from people.
First, it’s worth noting who we’re trying to speak to with this poster. Young adults. Mostly students actually, seeing as it’s up at the college and university. For those who don’t know, O2 is a service that we run at the Efree church on Sunday nights at 7:02 for mostly young adults. Everyone’s welcome, but our style tends to appeal more to young adults, so that’s who we’ve got. It’s fun. We strive to be what the poster says: A Community of Young Adults that meets weekly to be changed by the Lordship of Jesus. There are a couple of key things there. 1. We’re a community. That’s an overused word that probably doesn’t mean what it should. We’re a group, and we’re connected – not only by friendships and liking each other (most of the time), but there’s a connection that we all have with Christ that runs deeper than that. 2. We meet weekly… or close to it. We feel that it’s important to meet regularly. (check out Hebrews 10:25 for some Biblical backing on that one) 3. We want to be changed by the Lordship of Jesus. That’s a theologically charged statement, but basically what it means is that we believe in and follow Jesus Christ as the Son of God and saviour. Getting to know the Jesus of the bible inspires change. That’s what O2 is all about.
The other part of the poster is the (un)… things. That’s the part that usually leaves people a bit more confused. I’ll give a short explanation, but I’d encourage you to think about it for yourself some more. The four statements are things that we feel are true about this “O2 community”.
(un)able. These statements aren’t like the product(red) things where the things in brackets are the key, but they’re written like that to signify that both are true. We’re unable. On our own. That’s the key. Read Ephesians 2:8, among other passages. There’s nothing that we have done to earn our salvation. By ourselves, we’re completely unable. Yet, we’re able. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” That sounds pretty able to me, but only through Christ (hence going back to the whole Lordship of Jesus thing).
(un)safe. Unsafe. We’re not talking about a building collapse here, and there’s no gauntlet with American Gladiators that you have to fight through to get to O2. But there is something “unsafe” about meeting with Jesus. Sometimes it’s not comfortable, sometimes figuring out truth forces us to change in ways that aren’t particuarly safe. That’s what we’re talking about. You can’t expect to meet with the God who created and sustains everything and not stop to question anything about yourself. But we are safe. We’re a place that you can come and ask questions, challenge things. We want to love the world, we’re not going to turn anyone away. Which leads well into…
(un)holy. Unholy. If God is holy, we are definitely not holy. On our own. In what we do, we aren’t holy. We’re screw ups, we do bad things, and even if we try not to, we still do them. But we are holy. Check out Titus 2:11-14. Christ has purified for himself his people. That’s us. So we’re unholy because we’re sinners, but we’ve been purified and declared right before God because of Jesus’ blood. There’s also the third dimension of us becoming more holy. 1 Peter 15:16 puts it plainly. There’s so much more here, but I’ll leave it at that for now.
(un)afraid. We’re unafraid. We’re not intimidated by the world, by opposition, by death. We know where our hope lies. (see Romans 8 and First Peter 1). It’s pretty cool. In an eternal sense, we know who holds the cards and how they’ll play out. But at the same time, we are afraid – or at least we know enough to fear. We’re human, we all have fears. We’re normal people with an extrodinary God. No one at O2 is any different than anyone on the street, except that we’ve discovered a free gift that’s worth everything to go after. Beyond that, we’re learning to fear God. Together. We’re discovering what exactly that means, how to respect and worship the God who holds the universe in his hand, and yet loves us enough to send his son to die for us. We’re learning to fear the right things and be un-afraid of the wrong things.
So that’s pretty much it. Mostly, we just want people to think. Want to learn more about this Jesus and why we meet weekly to be changed by him? Come check out O2, and ask some friends who know this Jesus.