“The One Thing Necessary to Grow”
As we draw closer to crossing the threshold of our Mission Outpost and House of Worship, we are taking time to remember who we are. The first week, we remembered our vocation: Immanuel, God with us for the sake of others. The second week, we remembered our primary experience and expression of this vocation: With Jesus, we worship God—in Jesus submitting to our Father, celebrating him, and serving him in our “everyday, ordinary lives.”
This week, we will consider how we grow as worshippers. On Sunday I’ll talk about the essential ingredients for our growth (e.g., grace, the Holy Spirit, Scripture, prayer, community, and time) and important trellises for enabling our growth (e.g., spiritual disciplines, weekly worship services, small groups, fellowship events, and formation/education opportunities). The most necessary element for growth, however, is a relationship with Jesus. Everything else, writes Zack Eswine, “is secondary to and flows out of a prior desire for the loveliness of Jesus himself.”
Think of Mary, welcoming Jesus into her home, sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening to his words. “One thing is necessary,” Jesus tells anxious and troubled Martha. “Mary has chosen the good portion” (Luke 10:38-42). I can’t help but think of David’s words in Psalm 16:5, “The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup.” Jesus himself is what we feed on for life.
Growth only happens where there is life, and life ultimately flows from Jesus himself. This is why he says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:4-5). Let’s abide in Christ together this Sunday, as we continue to grow.
Your Pastor in Christ,
P.S. Please continue to pray for the Lord to make clear who is to be our next Bishop. I recommend that you make time to listen to the candidates’ answers to twelve questions asked at two “Walkabouts.” If you haven’t already visited the “Meet the Candidates” page, do so in order to learn more about them. Also, everyone is invited to attend and participate in the “Prayer Gathering for the Electing Synod” on Friday, October 14, 2022, 7 - 8:30 p.m.. You can attend in person at All Saints’ Church or via livestream.