This whole process got me thinking about all those name changes in the Bible. You know: Abram and Sarai become Abraham and Sarah; Jacob becomes Israel, Saul becomes Paul. In each case, God changed a name for a good reason. The new names always had significant meanings, but the thing that strikes me is that those new names were always tied to new beginnings. Abraham and Sarah's new names were all about the launching of a new nation. Jacob became Israel after he wrestled with God, but also on the day that his life was redirected forever. Saul became Paul after his 180 degree turn-around in regard to Jesus.
We at Passage Community Church (I just love saying that) are at a time of new beginning as well. The journey so far has been both beautiful and difficult - really difficult. we known victory and defeat, gain and loss. We've seen God do miracles. We've made mistakes and we've learned lessons. And now it is a new day. Believing that Jesus is still calling us out, and that the lessons were worth learning, we choose to press on. We've gained some strength and we've lost some pride. We pray and believe that a lot of junk has been burned away. We're grateful that Jesus hasn't written us off. We are glad we get to live by faith, to be known by love and to be a voice of hope in this city and beyond. How great is that!
Now, about the name...
We are the body of Christ, and we are His church, so that's part of our name.
We are in this together. We invite the people of our community (the place we live) to join us in the community (the people, the context, the life) that only Jesus gives - so community is part of our name.
And then there's Passage. Like our old name (The Way), Passage is about the journey. We have not arrived, but we are on the way. Jesus gives us passage, Jesus makes a passage, and Jesus is our passage.
Passage is also about living. Just as Jesus is passage for us, we invite others to join us on the adventure. We don't believe God made us to travel alone. We offer passage to anyone who wants to travel! We serve, we learn, we love - together.
And finally, passage is about truth. We often refer to a section of scripture as a passage. This reminds us that we are called to live by faith in the truth about Jesus that is found in the Bible. Everything we do and teach comes from these passages.
At Passage, we recognize Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. As The Way, He is our passage. As the truth, He reveals the passages in His word. And as the Life, He offers passage to all who will travel with Him. Passage Community Church - Now there's a name worthy of a new beginning!