Greetings on a beautiful Spring day in Downtown Memphis! If you have worshiped with us in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a little bit of a trend in the New Testament scripture I have been preaching from. It's been the same scripture passage for a few weeks. I promise I have not run out of ideas or options for scriptures to preach from. I have chosen to spend a few weeks on Matthew 28:16-20 for a very important reason.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
After Jesus rose from the dead and before he ascended into Heaven, Jesus made one thing very clear to the disciples. He made sure they knew they would be the primary vessels he would use to build his Church and continue what he began. They would be the messengers of the Gospel to all of those who did not yet know. They would be the community that he would choose to love and embrace his children with. They would be the one's through which he would glorify himself and make himself known to the entire world.
Jesus made sure the disciples knew that as they had decided to become followers of Jesus they would also be called to go boldly into their homes, their neighborhoods, their workplaces, their culture, and even far beyond to make other disciples of Jesus. Jesus chose to use people like you and me to be his primary means of ushering in his Kingdom.
While we have all too often in the church become so focused on raising up organizations and institutions we have easily forgotten our primary role and responsibility as followers of Jesus is a relational one. The First Sunday we will be worshiping in our new sanctuary will be August the 5th.
We have decided our first "official" gathering in the sanctuary be our community worshipping together as we do each Sunday. Worshiping God is the conerstone of all we do. We will be gathering to not only offer thanks to God for bringing us to this wonderful day, but also responding to His call upon all of us to go outside of our community to make disciples.
It is my prayer we will move more and more from a church who hopes people will attend our events to a community who increasingly engages people not connected to a Christian community and invites them to become apart of all God is doing in and through each of us.
Grace and Peace,