The MCC Blog

Welcome to MCC’s (sort of) weekly blog. From thoughts about the Bible, to every day experiences, to pop culture, join us as we write through what we believe. Feel free to comment and share to your social media site as well! If you would like to email us about a certain blog, please be sure to include the title of the blog in the subject line, and send to 

Hips, Holidays and Heaven

HIPS: Many of you know that back in September I underwent hip replacement surgery. The comeback has been steady, and we are all well-pleased with the results. Still, a question, or rather the answer to a question, has continued to float through my heart and mind. Numerous folks asked a variation of the same question, both before and after, “How are you with having your hip replaced?”
My initial answer has never wavered, “I’m fine, but I grieve for my lost hip. It was a faithful servant for six decades!” And that’s the truth. A strange response to most, I know. But I felt a genuine sense of loss, a part of myself deceased. Removed. Lost. While it isn’t a crisis – no tears have been shed nor sleep lost – it does have meaning.
HEAVEN: You and I are a God-created combo platter of body and soul. Adam was not a livingbeing when the Lord formed his body. It wasn’t until the Lord breathed the breath of life into him that he became a living being, the first of a long, long line. Death itself is the separation of the body from its soul, the soul from its body. Popular conceptions of eternity often consist of hazy half-truths of ephemeral, shimmering, intangible spirits floating through the unseen dimensions. Those are not ideas informed by Scripture. The promised Resurrection is a re- attaching of the soul to a reanimated, glorified body, one changed but very much recognizable, able to do the most physical of things. Jesus, the firstfruit of this Resurrection, returned eating, drinking, touching and handling. He challenged His followers accordingly, “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have" (Luke 24:39). And we are promised that we shall be like Him! And it will be Heavenly!
HOLIDAYS: This body-soul combination directly informs the Christian’s celebration ofChristmas. What is Christmas all about? With great reverence for Linus and his riveting, inspired speech to Charlie Brown in the television classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, he doesn’t cover the full spectrum of “what Christmas is all about.” Nor could he. John, writing his Gospel account years after Luke, adds more:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
We have seen His glory, John says, because He was imminently visible. The eternal Word, the One and Only, the underlying Foundation of all that exists, the Founder Himself, became flesh. That flesh was capable of being broken, even of death. But the eternal Word, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, wrapped Himself in flesh in order to illuminate for us what God is really like. Not what we think He might be like, but what He is – really, really. He became flesh so that He could serve as a qualified substitute for you, for me, for all our failed humanity. Broken for our brokenness. Death for our death. Somber? Oh yes. Absolutely. But also cause for celebration! Because He bodily, physically, historically rose from the dead to demonstrate exactly what you and I can trust will be the case for us as well! And for all who place their confidence and trust in Christ Jesus alone! Oh glorious Day!
So, this Christmas, enjoy every sight, every sound, every smell, every taste, every touch. Savorthem, knowing that these are pale reflections of what will one day be ours in and through and because of our Jesus – completeness, with hips, Heaven and unending, eternal holidays. Christmas Himself, body and soul, forever and ever and ever and a day. Christ is born! Christ is risen! Christ is coming again! Happy Christmas! Happy Christmas to all! Happy Christmas indeed!

I’m not feeling Christmas

I like the idea of feeling like Jolly Old Saint Nick on Christmas, but I tend to feel more like Scrooge. Well, maybe not like Scrooge, but maybe George Bailey: drowning in the midst of life and wondering if I am deeply missing something. “Should I be emotional right now? Everyone seems to be crying, should I be crying? All those people look bright-eyed and bushy tailed. What am I missing?”

Missing. There that word is again, missing. An absence, a lack, a need unmet. WHAT IS IT!?!? I don’t know, that’s why it’s there. If I knew, it wouldn’t be there. Maybe it’s the presents; maybe people are receiving better presents than me. Wait, what if they are giving better presents than me that sounds better. Oh, maybe they still believe in Santa? Is Santa real? Shoot. Do they like cold weather? Is it snow? No, people in the South love Christmas, can’t be snow. Certainly it isn’t Hallmark movies, at least not for everyone. The music? People love Christmas music. Ahhh! I don’t know!


Better to receive than to give. Or now HOW to receive…

Apparently, children change the entire dynamic of Christmas. My mom’s side fo the family gathers every other year for the grand gift exchange, and lately, it’s been a lot of older kids.

So you know—us, picky millennials that either want a very specific thing or just a gift card. We ruin any possible surprise, and our faces upon opening the gift, show it.

But when the younger generation is involved—the ones that still believe in Santa—all of the adults get more excited for the coming celebration. We are looking forward to seeing their faces when they open the next big shiny toy. A MONSTER TRUCK or BARBIE HOUSE they scream! And then it’s as if you have given them a spoonful of sugar as they rip through the box like a madman and run around showing off their latest treasure. Well, sugar was probably involved any way, if we’re honest.

Why is that so fun? Watching them become big eyed and ecstatic?


Shameless Plug

The plug metaphor has perhaps been overused, but I can’t seem to think of another way to explain how important it is to be plugged into a Community Group. A piece of electricity can not function unless it is plugged into a source that provides energy. Obviously, the energy in a Christian circle is Christ alone. But follow me here when I suggest that Community Group is also a source of energy for you.
We have a running text thread with our group. Whenever someone is needing prayer, one of the first places I go (sometimes even before my parents!) is to that text group. Repeatedly, we’ve had someone praying for us in our time of need within minutes. We’ve praised God for answered prayers together. We’ve seen God move. 
Community groups are a place to get to know people within the church better. Just this Sunday, Geo referenced how Jesus always made it a point to go to synagogue each week. Why would the Son of Man need to do that? He was well connected with the God of the universe–surely he didn’t need to go to church too. On top of that, he was a part of a community of 12 in which he hung out with consistently. This group weathered many storms together (they had the right surge protector–haha). Jesus was giving us an example to live by. Going to church is good; being part of an intentional, smaller community is better.
These groups will not be perfect. You will find broken people just like you. They will hurt you; and I can bet there will even come a point in which you hurt them. The Community Group is meant to be a place where you walk together through the highs and the lows, where you can feel more comfortable sharing your deep concerns about life and about faith–no judgment, just encouragement.
This next Tuesday at 7pm, both Community Groups will be starting the same study together: Andy Stanley’s “Community.” I implore you to check out either of the two groups whether it be your first time, or one of those just-haven’t-been-in-awhile. You are welcome, and always will be. Let’s plug in.

Love is meant to flow

Like water, if it is pent up, it stagnates and breeds unwholesomeness. But when unimpeded, it refreshes everything it touches. And like water, love is a universal solvent, eventually softening and dissolving away anger, fear, misunderstanding, even hatred.