Our church launched a Celebrate Recovery program in January.
If you’re unfamiliar with Celebrate Recovery think of it this way: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Church have a baby and name it CR.
Celebrate Recovery is a recovery program that uses the 12 steps from AA and basically identifies who the “higher power” is, Jesus.
It’s been exciting people getting honest with themselves and others about their hurts, hang-ups and habits.
For so long the church was a place where those issues simply weren’t discussed.
Now thanks to CR people are getting help and support for all sorts of things including addiction, divorce, abuse, abandonment, and countless other real life issues.
The Celebrate Recovery group model is very similar to what you’ve likely seen on TV and movies when AA is depicted.
Someone will speak up: “Hi I’m Andy.”
“I’m a believer and I’m in recovery for anger, lust and emotional eating.”
Then the sharing begins.
Groups are divided by gender and issue. Chemical and non-chemical groups meet every week to support and help members recover.
Being in a recovery group has helped me admit and work through my issues with openness and honesty. A CR group is a safe place to get real about the issues I face.
The group recovery model is helpful because it allows people to be transparent about themselves and recognize that others are going through similar issues.
This whole Celebrate Recovery thinking about Jesus and his closest friends.
The 12 disciples were flawed men who brought their own hurts, hang-ups and habits with them when they joined the team.
It was not as if when Jesus called them they instantly were perfect like him. They were walking with Jesus and working it out along the way.
I’ve been wondering lately what the last supper would have looked like and sounded like had it been a recovery group.
Maybe something like this:
“Hi I’m Peter.”
“I’m a follower of Jesus and I have a terrible swearing problem.”
“Hey guys, I’m Thomas.”
“I’m a believer and yet I still have my doubts you know?”
(Thanks for being here)
“Hello I’m Andrew.”
“Well I’m a Jesus follower and I’m a bit of a church hopper. I once followed John the Baptist, but hey, you know, now I’m here.”
(Thanks for sharing)
“Hi guys, I’m Simon and they call me ‘the Zealot.’”
“Well I’m a believer and I’m still working through a desire to overthrow this whole thing. I’m glad to be here with you all tonight.”
(Thanks for sharing Simon)
“I guess it’s my turn. Hi guys, I’m Judas.”
(Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah… Hey Jude)
“Yeah I’m a Jesus guy and I just can’t keep my hands out of the offering plate.”
(Good share man)
“Hey guys, I’m Matthew.”
“You know I’m glad to be here tonight. As a tax collector I’ve lied, cheated and exploited people. I’m working through all that now.”
(Great to have you)
“Hi I’m Bart. Some people call me Nathaniel.”
“I’m a follower and stuff but I’m working through issues of prejudice. Yeah, I’m the one who said, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Guess I was off on that one huh? Haha.”
(Haha, glad you’re here guy)
Here’s the point:
Jesus calls people like you and me. He doesn’t call us because we’re perfect. He includes us because he is perfect.
He chose people with real problems and made them his closest friends.
Jesus wants relationship with you despite your junk. He accepts you as you are and he’s not intimidated by your issues.
There is a seat at God’s table reserved for you and for me because of his goodness and grace.
We can trust Jesus with our hurts, hang-ups and habits.
He’s loving, kind and patient.
He has the power to help us to recover.
We can trust him as walk with him and find healing in his love.
Join us at Celebrate Recovery some time soon.
Sundays at 5pm. Northwest Life Church in Renton.
13120 SE 192 ST, Renton, WA 98058