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LOVE

|IN|TERNAL

As children of God, it is our belief that often times something starts to take shape inside of us before we are aware or realize it. As the movement of individualism continues to threaten the very fabric of who we are as a relational people, the idea that something did not originate with us has actually become quite counter-cultural.

At Holy Cross we place great emphasis on a personal relationship with God, but believe that a personal relationship with God is possible and meaningful insofar as God chooses and wants to be in relationship with us. While events and experiences in our lives, both positive and negative, can be part of what we perceive to move us closer to God, we believe that God always takes the first step in iniating a relationship with us.

We believe that God is always moving towards us even as God is inviting us away from something, and into new ways of thinking, acting, and being.

The journey inward, the gesture of Reaching IN, is an act of self-examination born of faith. Faith is the ability to respond to God's desire to be in relationship with us. The capacity to trust God and to respond in turn are both gracious gifts of God to and for us.

Rooted in the celebration of Christmas is the mystery of incarnation, where God chooses to take on the vulnerability of flesh to be in relationship with God's people. One biblical paraphrase captures the essence of God's movement towards us and for us, rather than away from us, by asserting that "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood."

The neighborhood can be anywhere at any time, but more specifically it can also be our life, our soul, heart, mind, and body, too.

The journey of Reaching IN is not taken alone. It is a journey that we take together, even as each person must wrestle with what it means to take personal responsibility to reach in. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a congregation to raise a disciple of Jesus. Even if the journey inward feels intensely personal, it is not a journey that has to be taken alone. Whether it's large group worship, bible study, small groups, or a servant project team, we Reach Up together. It is one of the things that sets us apart as a contrast community, which leads us to the next step on the journey.

This is the journey to Reach In - Love.