This past Sunday was a wonderful day as we had a great crowd that assembled to worship our Lord and encourage one another. We haven’t been over 300 in our assembly in a while so it felt good to be packed in a little bit, didn’t it? David Keen did an excellent job calling on us to have some “mirror moments” of evaluating ourselves to determine if we see the love of Christ in our lives. Are we being transformed into the image of Christ, or are we choosing to remain a caterpillar rather than the butterfly God created us to be? Thanks, David, for challenging all of us on Sunday.
Our Jennifer Ferree responded at the invitation time, and asked that we pray for her as she repents and seeks to be more pleasing to God. It takes a lot of courage to come forward and acknowledge that you have had one of those mirror moments and were not pleased with what you saw, and that you need the Lord’s forgiveness and the encouragement of your church family. Thank you Jennifer, for leading us by being an example of one who is willing to take the message of God seriously and apply it to your own life. May we all do the same.
This Sunday’s message is the first of two on worship, and this one focuses on the worship assembly. There is something special about the times when the church gathers to worship. It is a dynamic time, a “moment” that will never be repeated. Yes, we assembly with other Christians each Lord’s Day, and there are certainly consistent actions we take part in when we do. But each time we gather is a unique experience that will never be repeated exactly, and by gathering together we give ourselves the opportunity to experience the love of God and each other in a way like no other.
This week I want to focus on a few things that are distinctive in our worship assembly in comparison to some other Christian fellowships. We have good, solid Biblical and historical foundation for doing what we do in our Sunday assemblies. As our young people grow up here and graduate as these eight are doing this year, I want them to know the reasoning behind what we do. As our young adults face a very different world from the one the older ones of us have always known, they will question our doctrines and beliefs, and rightly so. I don’t want them to feel ashamed or embarrassed by our beliefs, because our practices are based on Biblical teaching. As we practice and share these beliefs, we must not do so arrogantly or in a condescending manner that is foreign to the attitude and Spirit of Christ. But we must live and worship based on our understanding of what the Bible teaches, and we must be passing that understanding along to our children and the young people in our church family. Here is how the apostle Paul puts it in Ephesians 4:14-15.
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”