Saints! It is hard to believe, but the Lenten Season is nearly over! Palm Sunday has ushered us in-to Holy Week, and soon the declarative voices of Christians all over this planet will once again cry out the exultant “He is Risen, HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
It is only because of His sacrifice that we can enter Heaven pardoned of our sin, free of condemna-tion. And so we have focused upon the Good News that our Savior Jesus LIVES. Every Holy day in this Lenten season has pointed us toward what Christ did for us, and in spite any pandemic, we have focused upon Christ during this season.
But… HOW do we focus on Christ now? The only upcoming Holy Day in sight is Pentecost… and there is SO much going on in our lives! We continue to figure out ways to ‘do’ life with over a year now of the pandemic’s scourge. Might I suggest we focus on Christ by continuing to serve and worship with His Chosen- by focusing our energy, and making our plans around the lost sheep of His flock. All too often we fail to realize the place that self-sacrifice and service holds in our walk with Christ. Christ’s whole existence, all the way from heaven to earth and back again by way of Calvary, was a continual outpouring of Himself for the sake of others. He says, “If any will be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me.”(Mk. 8:34)
Consider this poem:
The village priest of austerity climbed up in a high church steeple;
To be nearer to God, so that he might hand His word down to the people.
And so in sermon script he daily wrote what he thought came from heaven;
And dropped it down on the people’s heads…Two times one day in seven.
In his age God cried, “Come down and die,” and he cried from out the steeple,
“Where art thou, Lord,” and the Lord replied, “Down here among my people.”
I submit to you that if we want to focus on Christ, we need to continue to spend time with His people and those who are not yet convinced that Jesus’ offer of salvation is for ALL who would be-lieve. When we talk about focusing on Jesus Christ, many times we conjure up visions of a clois-tered, secluded, holy time of fasting and prayer. We assume that true focus upon Christ occurs only in the form of a mountain top experience. Cloistered visions and mountain-top experiences may enrich the soul, but the vision dims, and the blessing will not stay if heavenly experience is not translated into earnest service toward one another and the lost. “We dare not become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good!” Consider sharing Christ’s Love actively, in service to one another. Let us put our love for Christ in motion, focusing upon Him during this season.
WHAT IS THE VISION OF OUR CHURCH?
Obviously we have God’s Great Commandment and Great Commission as our number one priority, we want to love God, love others and make disciples.
“Without a Vision, the people perish.” This short verse found in Proverbs 29:18 tells us that we should not be a people who are willing to “Ready! Shoot! Aim!” We should have a target to shoot at and be prepared to Ready! Aim! Shoot! God has led us this far, and He shall surely lead us on! Really? To where shall He lead? Do we have a plan? How wonderful to know that God met us in our need and loved us to much to leave us there – that He has a plan for our life and it is this: 2 things. To:
Doing life with others helps us to connect in community and establish meaningful relationships.
Jesus had a team He "did life" with. He ate with them, walked with them, and ministered with them. He developed meaningful relationships with them and developed a strategy through which all humankind could be reconciled.
The early church connected in very natural, organic ways: "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts" (Acts 2:46 NIV). They loved to eat a good meal together, laugh together, and pray together in one another's homes as well as in their large temple gatherings.
Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52 NIV). Once you have connect-ed in relationship within the church, it is time for you to grow!
I read this story about a father talking with his daughter and her five-year-old friend, Elizabeth, about birth-days. Elizabeth’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27. "Our birthdays are three days apart," he said to her. She looked up at him and remarked, "Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did."
That brings us to a question…How fast are you growing?
I know some of us are growing in places that we don’t want to. I am reminded of that as I look at my own expanding waistline! But there is a kind of growing that we are considering that we want to be a part of our lives. This is in the growing of the church – not just in numbers, but in our knowledge of God’s Word while being in Connection with one another.
We are developing a plan that will offer home group studies on different books of the Bible: the first book being the book of John. Scott will then be preaching on what we have studied the following week. This is a great way to connect with others your age within the church while learning by digging deeper into God’s word. There will be LOTS more information in the coming weeks as to how it all works, but plan on being a part of the growth and vision of our church by joining a home group.
So, Connect (join a home group) and Grow (by learning more of His word with other believers)! This is the way it happens! Now, Go Give ‘em Heaven!
There will soon be a meeting for all those interested in being a part of our home groups. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open as to the date and time. It IS coming!
Pastor Scott Walsh
Pastor Jan Walsh
Child Care & Learning Center Director
Praise Team Leader
Chief Financial Officer
IT and Technical Director
Bell Choir Director
Child Care Custodian