Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I hope you have been benefiting from our Knowing Jesus series. In the most recent message, Experiencing Jesus in Missional Community (5 of 6), I shared how we’re called to know Jesus together in the church. As the apostle Peter said, we are individual stones that God wants to bring together and fashion into a building that houses the Spirit of God (1 Pet 2:5). Therefore, we need the church if we’re going to follow Jesus. In fact, if we’re not following Jesus with other disciples, we can’t grow in the way Christ intends.
As I said in the sermon, our regular participation in the personal and intimate spaces of the church creates a womb in the church for the Spirit to give birth to new creation. In other words, it’s through close-knit relationships—which have knowing Jesus at the center of them—that we can experience a greater level of church life, even new birth. What a wonderful image! And consider this: Why do we worship on Sunday? Why attend a Learning Community? Why serve on a commission? Why do we work hard to craft meaningful worship services? Why do we care about art, beauty, and liturgy? Why do we care about anything happening in the church? It’s because we’re seeking to know Jesus and make him known. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less.
Having grown up in the church, I admit that it’s easy to lose sight of that. And if you’ve been in the same church for a long time, it’s even more challenging. Therefore, it’s good to re-center ourselves from time to time. Do you need re-centering? Listen, I think community is a great thing. I like singing in worship. I appreciate traditions, history, holy habits, etc. Also, I’m grateful for friendships in the church. But the truth is that these things are ultimately meaningless if knowing Jesus and making him known isn’t at the heart of what we’re about as a church. Instead, it’s when we have a burning passion for the centrality and supremacy of Jesus that the Spirit is able to do all the good the Lord wants to do in us and through us. That is when we really shine! And that’s what our Knowing Jesus series is all about.
I hope you’ll join us this Sunday as we conclude our series with An Invitation to Follow Jesus before baptizing folks down at the creek. It’s going to be a special time together. Until then, as Paul prayed, I pray for you: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).
Grace & Peace,
P.S. Join us Wednesday nights for a free meal and time of connection. Our Community Meal begins on September 11 at 5:00 pm and serves as an intersection between the church, college, and greater community. We offer this meal as a reflection of God’s table that’s open and freely available to all. Stop by and meet someone new. Good things happen at the table! Interested in volunteering? Contact Susan Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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