Legoland Theology (And Church Membership Transfers)

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In my monthly mail assortment is a newsletter of a particular church. Each month there is a list of names under “Necrology”. That simply means, a person crossed the “Jordan into Beulah land”, or tried to cross “the Nile” and failed, resulting in his or her death in “Egypt”.

Another part of the newsletter talks about new members who joined the “Temple ”. This group always intrigues me. They come from all kinds of denominational backgrounds. For personal and professional reasons they have moved and joined the local Presbyterian Temple.

What has struck me over the years is that I have never yet read of a transfer coming in from the “county jail”; or from places like Soledad prison, here in California. Nor are the city homeless shelters a mail forwarding source.
As I look at Millbrook, I observe ongoing changes, including changes in our demographics. Ethnic diversity is becoming more apparent. There is no doubt that the economic challenges we are facing are also very real. Many new transfers will cause us to have a kingdom oriented view of “membership”. After all, kingdom membership is not in the first instance fixated on “temple membership”.

Some of the more intriguing transfers I meet are folks who have come in from Legoland.
Having multiple visits to Denmark behind me, I am familiar with the original Legoland, built in 1968 in Billund on the Jutland peninsula (for our history buffs, the First World War Navy battle off Jutland is not readily forgotten).
The Apostle Peter came from Legoland, as indeed I did. I hope you will shortly come to realize that you did as well. Peter, in his first letter, writes about us being a “chosen people”, who have been “called out of darkness” to proclaim God’s praises (1 Peter2:9).

In the Greek language the words Elektos and Lego refer to “Out off” and “to pick” to describe this journey.
Temple attendees are people who have been “picked” out of darkness to sing praises to God. Yet it is not quite that simple. After all, the apostle John notes that, “They were with us but not off us”.
Some may remember the sermon of last Sunday from Ex. 25:16 ff. The ark disappeared from the First Temple. Temple worship can never be what it is called to be with the absence of the “Ark” Paul, who also came from Legoland, notes in Romans 8:10 that the “Commandments”, the Word, resides within us. The Word and the Spirit symbolize the presence of the Ark within disciples.

Historically, the Ark was on the move. It trampled through the wilderness carried by a “royal priesthood”, as Peter reminds us.

It is true, Millbrook needs more “gold and silver”. We also need more “frankincense and myrrh” as a sweet aroma and an offering of praise. These gifts all come from the Lord, but they are carried by people.
Such people are the ones who have been exposed to the “Ark ” as it came into their lives.
You and I are God’s “Ark ”. Whether you walk through Macy’s or Wal-Mart, whether you eat in an In/Out fast food place or at Flemings, share with people where you came from and where you are going.
Tell them that, because of Jesus, you have come from Legoland, out of darkness, and into His marvelous light. That light illumines the restaurant menu. It will ensure the right food is chosen so that you can “taste and see” and testify: How great is our God.

Living to Advance His Kingdom,

PJ

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