“Remember who you are.” For the past four weeks we’ve been listening to Jesus speak these words to us as we prepare to enter our Mission Outpost, stepping into God’s future for Immanuel. We’ve examined the following strands of our DNA:
Vocation: Our identity and our calling expressed in our name—Immanuel, God with us for the sake of others. In Jesus, we are with God, joining with Him in cultivating Shalom and Sabbath in this world, and in the world to come. Our with-ness is our witness.
Worship: In Jesus we become true worshippers of God, the essential expression of our vocation. We submit to, we serve, and we celebrate our Father in our “everyday, ordinary lives.”
Grow: As we worship, we grow into who God is creating us to be: a people like Christ (Ephesians 4). We considered how we grow in four ways:
Ø The End of Growth: Becoming Like Jesus
Ø The Beginning of Growth: Abiding in Jesus
Ø The Ingredients of Growth: Receiving from Jesus
Ø The Trellis of Growth: Supports for Our Life in Jesus
Serve: Serving others is the essential expression of worshippers who are growing into the fullness of Christ. Joining with Jesus in his two-part mission to serve and to save (Mark 10:35-45) requires Humble Hearts Compassionate Action, and Bold Truth-Telling.
Notice the centrality of Jesus. Everything “is secondary to and flows out of a prior desire for the loveliness of Jesus himself” (Zack Eswine).
All this is experienced within the generosity of our God who gives, and we respond by giving as an expression of gratitude, trust, and partnership. I experienced a deep sense of all three as I watched our church family coming forward to place their pledge cards on the altar, an extended moment of presenting our lives “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 11:36-12:1). For those of us who still haven’t given our pledge cards, please take time to pray, discern, and then send in your pledge to the church office this week.
Immanuel, let us continue to remember who we are as we worship, grow, and serve.
Your Pastor in Christ,