The big idea of Roots Season
Here is the big idea, the Roots Rhythm we focus on during Roots Season:
God is proactively running a campaign to heal, bless, and connect everyone on earth. He isn't just making rules and measuring how people do so he can split the good ones from the bad ones.
Here is the other half of the big idea of Roots Season:
God's campaign strategy is to create his own campaign team, connect it tightly to himself, and bless the whole human race through it.
Bottom line of the big idea of Roots Season:
We see ourselves in Christ as fulfillments of God's ancient promise to bless the world through Abraham's descendants. We live in SYNC with God's intentions when he made that promise.
Our role as fulfillments of God's ancient promise, fruitful branches on the Abraham family tree
God's ancient promise is, "Through you [Abraham] all families of the earth will be blessed." (Genesis 12.3) Jesus was a descendant of Abraham and did far more than any other descendant to bless the world.
Jesus also redefined the "descendants of Abraham" on spiritual lines, not a physical bloodline. People who accept Jesus as the messianic King, the key person God sent to fulfill his promise to bless the world, are true "descendants of Abraham." They all have a share in the blessing process.
People who don't accept Jesus as the spearhead of the Messianic campaign are going against God's strategy to bless the world. They are not following the person God sent to lead the implementation of his strategy. They are not going with the flow of the story of the world in the way God is writing it. They are out of SYNC.
The true descendants of Abraham have his spiritual DNA, which is to trust God to do things in his way. That is how Abraham was trusting God when he had no clue why God was telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac. His security was not in what he understood but in God's ability to make things turn out right even when that looked impossible.
So how do we get that DNA, that level of trust? God gives it to us through Christ as part of his plan to keep his promise to bless the world. Like branches being grafted into a tree, we get grafted into the group that descended from Abraham (Romans 11.17-21). Once a graft takes, the grafted branch is able to draw life from the tree root and produce fruit as part of the tree. We become the "true Jews," the inward or spiritual Jews, whether we were born Jewish or were grafted in (Romans 2.28-29).
Another way of talking about that graft is to talk about the "Spirit of Jesus." Jesus, the center of God's campaign to fulfill his promise to Abraham, puts his Spirit into us. The Spirit gradually changes us to resemble him and share in his campaign work--healing, blessing, and connecting the world. It's as if we are turning into great writers because the "spirit of Shakespeare" has somehow come on us, or great conquerors because the "spirit of Genghis Khan" has entered us.
Shakespeare and Genghis Khan cannot send their spirits to empower anyone today because they are dead. Jesus can send his Spirit because he is still alive, resurrected from the grave. So he is the permanent promise fulfiller, the permanent spearhead of God's campaign, not just a person who taught others that they should try as hard as they can to bless the world. And his campaign strategy for fulfilling the promise today is to put his Spirit, the Holy one-of-a-kind Spirit, into his campaign team to purify each team member, hold the group together, direct the team in its assignments, and give all team members the power to do their assignments.
That's why we don't congratulate ourselves when we bless the world. It isn't really us who are doing it. Jesus's Spirit working in us does it, so he gets the credit for it. We are just thankful that we got to be on the team and empowered by the Spirit to contribute something to the campaign process as God keeps his ancient promise to bless the world.
When you SYNC (See Yourself iN Christ), you see that you are included in the campaign team, the group Christ is directing to bless the world in his name. You don't have to chase security or significance any more. You've got them. So relax, enjoy them, thank God for them, and bless the world by helping it find the security and significance it is craving.
The big idea vs the Big Lie
If we get the big idea of Roots Season, it protects us from the Big Lie, which is,
"I get my security and significance through the things I personally achieve or own, the group(s) I belong to by birth or by choice, and/or the cause I identify with."
This lie has some truth to it. These things do help us feel like we have some value. The lie sounds good but in real life it keeps generating all kinds of conflicts and insecurities instead of taking them away.
It feeds anxiety when I fall short of my goals or when I try to protect my successes.
It feeds racism, which is a quest for security and power by giving my race the right to look down on others.
It makes me feel right to harshly judge and criticize anyone who does not support my cause as vigorously as I think all good people should.
We are all designed to want security and significance, and we suffer psychological damage when we don't have them. Life gets miserable when we do not belong. So we look for security and significance in a thousand ways and places, never guessing that God already has something going that is just oozing with security and significance for us. He is running a 4000-year-old campaign to bless the world, and we can join his campaign team, the spiritual descendants of Abraham.
The big idea of Roots Season is some of the best news ever. We don't have to come up with the best plan we can to build and protect our own security and significance. All we have to do is sign on to the plan that God already put there for us. We join the "demo and delivery team" for his campaign. We live under the direction of Jesus Christ, the mastermind of the campaign to organize and mobilize the team to heal, bless, and connect the world.
Holidays and the big idea
Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021
As with Epiphany (January 6th), the SYNC interpretation of Ash Wednesday is totally different than the traditional Christian one. Instead of it being a day of penitence introducing Lent (40 days of austerity and self-denial), Ash Wednesday is a celebration of God's promises to Abraham and of Abraham's trust in God.
In the SYNC interpretation, the ash of Ash Wednesday is the ash of the sacrifice by Abraham on Mount Moriah. The point is that there was no bone of Isaac in that ash. It was all ram's bone.
Abraham was about to obey God's command to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice when God stopped him and told him to sacrifice a ram instead. God provided the ram, which was caught by its horns in a thicket nearby. So the ash from that sacrifice is a blazing symbol of the truth of Roots Season--against all odds, God can still be trusted to come through and make his plan work in his way. Isaac lived, and through him God later kept his promise to create a nation that would bless all families of the earth.
Ash Wednesday sets the tone for the whole Roots Season, but it is not the somber tone of Lent in the traditional church year. The somber time in the annual cycle of SYNC is during Honor Season (Oct-Nov). Roots Season (Feb-Apr) is a time of joy because of the story of Isaac and the ram. We who are "in Christ" today get to be included in the God's "heal-bless-connect" campaign team as spiritual descendants of Abraham and Isaac.
What a heritage! What a team! What a family! We are part of an ancient campaign plan, God's plan, for a better world. We are part of a 4000-year-old team to work the plan, each with the challenges of our own era. And the plan is to bring good to everybody, not just to those who are like us, who agree with us, or who feel forced to comply with us.
More about God being proactive
When people assume God is basically a scorekeeper and judge, they read the Bible as the book that tells us how he will keep score. How much will that good deed raise my score? How badly will that bad deed hurt it?
People may read the Bible that way for a whole lifetime without realizing that something different and bigger is going on. The Bible as a whole is not a glorified list of God's rules and standards. It's a story, the story of God proactively working his campaign strategy to bless the world.
More about God's campaign team
God does send some of his blessing directly to the whole race, but most of the really important blessing he gives to his team to spread to the whole race. We call this the "Abraham Strategy" not because Abraham invented it, which he didn't, but because he was the person through whom God launched it.
The Abraham Strategy involves God in human life at the group level. He puts his own group (his campaign team) in among all the other groups, and in the end, it will bless them all and unite (or connect) them all.
More about a plan for a better world
In SYNC with Jesus, we are rooted in Abraham. "And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you." (Galatians 3.29)
When you SYNC, when you See Yourself iN Christ as a fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, you realize you are participating in the work of Abraham's descendants, which is to bless everybody. That is your cause. You are caught up in it, energized by it, and delighted every time you have even a small success.
You want a better world? So does God. Got a plan for a better world? So does God. What are the odds that SYNCing with his plan will do more to improve the world than continuing with any other plan?