Wednesday, April 20, 2016
By now you should have noticed a pretty strong theme in our corporate worship times this year. If you haven’t, you might be sleeping during service or simply not coming. Let me give you a clue…the big metal letters on stage that spell CHURCH. As a church family, we made a New Year’s resolution to be the church God has called us to be. Every Sunday since then we have looked to Scripture to understand what that means. This month we have narrowed our focus to want it means to be the Bangor Church of Christ. Our Leadership Team has given us a single statement that helps us remember who we are called to be. We call that our purpose statement.
Bangor Church of Christ is committed to
LOVING God and loving our neighbors by
WORSHIPING together in unity;
EQUIPPING Christians to serve others; and
LEADING others to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Love. Worship. Equip. Lead. If remember these four words, we can easily remember who we are as a church and how we should be living. These four words help us define our priorities. These four words help us understand how to use our time, our talents, and our treasures. These four words help us live out our identity in Christ. These four words help hold us accountable to being the sons and daughters of God that we were created to be.
Our all church worship gathering on May 1st at 11 AM is a very important gathering for our church family. This service is an opportunity for us as a community to declare to God that we want to be obedient to Him and be the Church he has commanded us to be. It is time for us as church family to put our faith into action again. It is time for us as a church family to take one step closer to Jesus. It is time for us as a church family to allow the Holy Spirit to move in, through and among us.
I want to personally ask you to make every effort to attend this service. I strongly encourage you to be in constant prayer for this service. I believe that God has incredible things in store for our church family if we will chose to be obedient to him and surrender our lives to him. I’m in! Will you join me?
Monday, April 04, 2016
Moments like this get repeated over and over again. When I returned home to California after that visit to Michigan, I was asked several dozen times to tell the story of how he proposed. It is a great story and because it was such an significant event, I was happy to tell it over and over again. I drove home from this bridal shower completely perplexed at the idea of forgetting something so important so quickly.
Last week a high school friend and I were corresponding about another story of people quickly forgetting. Joshua 2:10 says, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.”
Read that a few more times and let that sink in a little.
God delivers the entire nation of Israel from the oppression of the Egyptians. Moses leads a generation of people in following God through the wilderness, learning to hear God’s voice and what it means to be His people. They are commanded to tell and retell the great Story every year at Passover. The next generation comes along, Joshua marches them into the Promised Land as God gives them the great land He swore to give their forefathers. Joshua and the elders of that generation pass away and then no one knows the Story. You’ve got to be kidding me! Two generations in a row bear witness the incredible power, love and faithfulness of the Lord Almighty and the next generation grew up without knowing about it.
It doesn’t take long for a story to die. It simply stops being told. We are a generation that has heard the great Story of the Exodus and the redemption of God’s people through the blood of Jesus. Are we telling the Story to those who don’t know it? Are we living the Story in such a way that the next generation with grab hold of it? Will people write that this generation of the Bangor Church of Christ passed on and the next generation knew nothing of our Lord?
Good stories get told and retold. This is the absolute best story ever written or to be written. I’m afraid that far too often we choose to silence the Story because it is inconvenient or difficult. We can’t be bothered to gather each week to remind one another of the Story. We can’t be bothered to share the Story with our neighbors or invite them to come celebrate the Story with us on a Sunday morning. That simply unacceptable. I refuse to be known as the generation that let the Story be silenced. What about you? Are you in? Will you join me in sharing the Story so generation after generation may know about the goodness of our God?
Tell the Story. Live the Story. Don’t let it be silenced.