Sharon’s sermon was basic, but we like the way she sets it out in a clearly organized fashion. She finished off the series on learning about our Mission (“We exist to invite ordinary people to encounter Christ and thoughtfully follow Him”), ending with the letter ‘F’. To recap: A=Attract, B=Bring–(a simple way of showing the difference between these two is saying that Attract means being friendly, and Bring means being ready to talk about Jesus, or to invite them to church)–C=living in Community (making them feel welcome & cared for), D=Discipleship (teaching which involves showing how it’s done), E=Equip (that wonderful acronym Craig gave us the previous week… now what’s the difference between D and E…?), F=Feed my lambs. I guess the idea in those last few letters, is that you go from being discipled, to discipling others, to helping them disciple others. And Sharon was quick to agree with Sam that this is not always a linear process, but more like a pathway, since not everyone is called to do all those things; and not all the “good works” that Christians might do, will fit into the linear idea of it. (For example, if you’re visiting the sick, you’re not discipling them… but I suppose that fits with C.)
So, our pastor talked about what it actually means to “Feed my lambs”, and then answered the question “How can I feed your lambs when I’ve failed so many times?” Feeding means simply to care for people–physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. And the answer to the question (think of Peter’s failures, and Jesus asking him 3 times “Do you love me?”, and then saying “Feed my lambs”) involves 2 prayers: “I’m sorry…”, and “I’m thankful for…” With a humble and grateful attitude we can help others. “If you have never failed at anything, you have not risked enough”.
Also, sometimes we can be doing what we know really well, but coming up empty–nothing is working, etc. Just like the disciples who were fishing, and not catching anything. When Jesus called to them to throw the net on the other side of the boat, they could have said “he’s crazy, we know what we’re doing”, but they chose to obey Him, and suddenly they caught so many that their nets were almost breaking. And so we too, should make sure we’re obeying–following the Spirit’s leading. Because we can do everything right and still miss it.
To sum up: we can “Feed my lambs” by having a humble & grateful attitude, and by trusting God to lead us before we make our own plans, and trusting Him to multiply our efforts.
Walk to Rivendell: We’re thankful for the noises of friends’ footsteps, as we continue along.