In our current sermon series, concentrating on our new Mission Statement ("To invite ordinary people to encounter Christ and thoughtfully follow Him", we’ve been using the first few letters of the alphabet as a memory tool:
A = Attract people
B = Bring Jesus to them
C = Community–living in Community
D = Discipleship
E = Equip them so that they can–
F = "Feed my lambs"
We missed ‘C’ for last week, and now we were on ‘D’ last Sunday. Sharon’s sermon was packed, but we’ll summarize and highlight the parts that stood out for us. The title was "What On Earth Am I Here For?", and she started with the reminder of how valuable we are to God, and that He has a purpose for each of us. ("The Lord has made everything for His own purpose." Prov. 16:4) This purpose is unique for each one– a "you-shaped hole". The scripture base was Matt. 28:16-20.
Our purpose = "to go and make disciples" = being apprenticed to Jesus ("to learn to live our lives as if Christ were living in us and teaching others to do so as well"). Being apprenticed to Jesus involves 3 things: worshipping God wholeheartedly, growing in wholeness, and witnessing about our experience with God. She seemed to focus mostly on the growing, for this sermon.
We grow through obedience–practising the spiritual disciplines ("discipleship"), and remember that God gives ability for what He commands. Sharon was careful to remind us that the spiritual disciplines (prayer, fasting, etc.) are NOT GRACE, but a MEANS to Grace. In other words, we must avoid legalism–all this "doing" of things just for the sake of doing them. She also pointed out that spiritual health and emotional health go together. It’s not wrong to have emotions of course, it’s how we deal with them. And our church community should be a safe place to be honest about what’s inside. Sharon said we sometimes try to "spiritualize conflict away"… not sure how??
Walk to Rivendell: We’re thankful for the support of those walking with us!