United in support for one another

This week Rev. Dr Oh-Young Kwon draws from Philippians 1:18b-30 to speak on the importance of unity with each other and the Spirit.

Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. Phil. 1:27-28

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 1Cor. 1:10

That there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 1Cor. 12:25 

I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself. Col. 2:2

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 1Th. 3:12

Sing to the Lord

We come together to worship God

Worship is the nourishment of the mind on God’s truth;

It is the quickening of the conscience by God’s holiness;

It is the enrichment of the imagination by God’s beauty;

And it is the enlargement of the heart through God’s love.

We come together to worship God—acknowledging all those who have gone before us in this place and this land, indigenous and settlers, all created in God’s image, all people of the earth and all invited into the divine presence.

So let us still our hearts, gather our lives and our community: and worship God.

 

Community

This week Eugene Peterson tweeted these words:

It’s so key to remember that following Jesus is a lifestyle “on the move.” We don’t stop to admire what we’ve accomplished.

This is our call to mission—a new community in the presence of the living God.

The Immanuel community, for Matthew and for us, is defined not by where we have been, but by where we are going.

It is defined not so much by our ancestors, may they rest in peace, as by our descendants.
It is defined not so much by what we are against, but by what we are for.
It is defined not so much by our past as by our future.

It is defined by God with us.

This is the vision of a Baptist kind of church: a people discerning together where we see God, and what we see God doing, and becoming part of that.

 

Struggle

If the Temple is gone, maybe there’s a God message and meaning in that. Where are we going to meet God now?

If there is no fruit on the tree, maybe there is a God message and meaning in that. To whom will we turn, now?

If we are confronted by confusion and ambiguity, in life and relationships, even people we have trusted and loved for a long time, maybe there is a God message and meaning in that.

Perhaps we are in fact still in the storm.

Perhaps we have not yet dealt with all we need to deal with, in the storm within.

Perhaps we need to learn, simply to trust.