Well....summer’s officially over. OK, maybe not officially, but once school starts it all comes crashing to and end official or not. We’re back in school, finished with our Labor day picnics, focused on curriculum and school lunches, starting to think about cooler weather, shifting our minds away from leisure travel and onto the daily grind of the office, already planning Christmas vacation, and yes...starting the new church year.
For some of you its a bummer that it went by so fast and for others you welcome the prospect of fall activities and shorter days. For all of us it doesn’t really matter how we feel about it, its happening. We can do nothing about it. Life goes on. On the other hand we can choose to rejoice that God has given us another day and another season to serve him and his purposes in his church and in this world. If you want, there can be an excitement about what God is up to and what he has in store for you. He is, after all, a good God who has a plan for you and a desire for you to be fruitful and will give you the grace a power to do what he has planned. That’s his promise (Phil. 2:13).
As we begin a new church year here at SGCP we will be starting with a preaching series in Ephesians focusing on what it looks like and means to be God’s community. What makes community in the life of the church different than any other group of people? Lot’s of people gather around many different ideas or identities, or organizations. People can have good fellowship, share common goals, or work together to accomplish certain activities, so what makes the church different? While I hope we will be answering some of these questions over the next few weeks, one thing I do know. Biblical community is supernatural at its core. It starts with lives that are supernaturally effected by the gospel of Jesus. God is in the process of calling people to himself thru faith in Christ and then adding them to local churches. When this happens we have a supernatural community that is made up not of homogeneous groups of people who just happen to get along together, or think alike, or like the same teams or the same food or....you get the point. It’s made up of people who have been changed by Jesus to love him and loves others. The gospel is at the core of our community. The life changing work of the Holy Spirit does something that no amount of human effort can accomplish; bringing people together that otherwise might not ever relate on a human level. As the old song says, “red and yellow, black and white”. Truckers and businessmen. Housewives and corporate executives. Students and the retired. Wealthy and the homeless. People on fire for Jesus and people struggling with just waking up in the morning. The super intelligent and people like...say...ME. A community of people striving by faith to follow Jesus and be honest about where we are at in that process. Who want to glorify Jesus, but at the same time recognize our failures and need for grace and help. We know that grace and help come primarily from the active Holy Spirit in our lives, but at the same time aware that the Holy Spirit has put us in a biblical community where he intends that we rely on each other for grace and help because that is just often how the Holy Spirit works.
This is the kind of community that will catch the attention of a fallen world. A supernatural community that couldn’t exist apart from the supernatural work of the gospel at work among us. I hope this series in Ephesians will help us and give us vision for being the kind of community that will provoke the world and shine a light that will attract the world around us to the truth of the gospel.
Looking forward to walking out my life in community with you all!