I didn’t grow up in the church. But now and again, my grandmother the Southern Baptist took me. Now and again, my friend Ann took me to her Pentecostal church, or my friend Heidi took me to her Lutheran church. Later, my high school friends invited me to youth group at the United Methodist church. Over time, I realized that something was different about those church people. I could not quite put my finger on it, but even though very young, I could feel the difference when with them. It was SOMETHING I wanted to know more about.
When, many years later I began to follow Jesus with a faith community, I began to understand. We walk to the beat of a different drummer, and ours just happens to be the Divine pulse of the universe. We live a different story, and ours just happens to be gushing with grace. And our purpose isn’t driven by our own vision, but by the One who would lose His life just to save us and then busy Himself leading us into that work.
We are the church of Jesus Christ and that should make us quite peculiar. We’ve been talking about this in a worship series called The Shared Life the last several Sundays. We are a people whose…
…future is secure. The good work God has begun in healing the world and us will continue until Jesus returns. With a secure future, we get to live in confidence, and take bigger risks than most while we continue God’s work. (Philippians 1:1-11)
…purpose is to live the abundant life Christ offers. That means to live life worthy of the Gospel. Our loyalties and priorities begin to change. They grow to line up with Christ’s. As they do, we find more and more abundant life. (Philippians 1:20:30)
…life together is about healing. Healing is the keystone work of God. We are offered healing through Christ and then share it with others through relationship. That means we think like Christ and love like Christ through selflessness. (Philippians 2:1-13)
…economy is a different value system. We start with the power of the resurrection. God emptied himself to fill up our love “bank” accounts. Forever. The outpouring of God’s love upon us means we seek to earn different things. We measure others and ourselves according to that love. (Philippians 3:7-14)
…method for living is different. Because we don’t simply rely on ourselves, our possibilities are expanded. (Philippians 4:12-20)
We, as Christ’s church, share life in community. Our shared life has a distinctive pathway. We walk behind the risen Christ who leads to far more life, adventure and fulfillment than any other way I’ve ever known. But we know this; it should make us different. I pray that even if they can’t put their finger on it, others would find us different and just want to know more about the Jesus we follow.
Community Life: What’s Happening at Old Bethel
This week, the staff did their annual Safe Sanctuaries training in order to help keep children, youth, and vulnerable adults safe.
This Sunday, we welcome Mackenzie Imbro, the new Family Ministries Administrative Assistant. She will become the engine that helps organize and run Family Ministries!
This is Summer Fare’s 30th year! Come help serve and create an awesome opportunity for community connection and Christ-like hospitality! Contact Mike or Janet Tucker at 467-4669 or 894-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
This week Old Bethel will be hosting families experiencing homelessness overnight through our partnership with the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Sign-up to buy a couple boxes of cereal, set up some cots, or play with some children. Come make a difference in the life of a family as they get back on their feet! Contact Marge Ohl at 894-0862 or Ric Gasaway at 894-1431 to serve.