A New Dawn

Hello! I hope you’re staying dry and cheery in a week that is wet and dreary (ok, that’s enough rhyming…).  Last Sunday was Easter – and it was a great one! Our own service was lovely – as was our Good Friday service. It was so nice to be with you to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord.  But I want to just highlight the sunrise service for a moment.
If you didn’t brave the alarm clock to get there, you missed a great service. It was a beautiful morning, as the sun rose throughout the service. It was very well attended by folks from town, and all of the pastors and music leaders from the area churches did a wonderful job. Brian, the new pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church, preached a powerful message on the resurrection.

It was a wonderful moment for the Kingdom of God on the Bayshore.
Why do I say that? Because of something that Jesus said.

In the 17th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is praying for his followers and their continued mission and life together after he would die. He knew that as things got rough for him, they’d get rough for his followers as well. But he knew that a main threat to the successful mission of the church would not so much come from outside of the church, but from within. Specifically, from division within the church. So he prayed for his followers – the church,

“that they may all be one.”

He goes on to pray that as they (the church) are one in the Father and the Son, then,

“the world may believe…”.

A key to the world around coming to believe in Jesus the Messiah is “that they may all be one”…

it’s the unity of the church.

Unity does not mean uniformity. We are different, we look different, we worship differently, we sing differently, we interpret scripture differently, we even believe differently. That’s ok. In fact, as Paul tells us multiple times, it’s the necessary diversity of the church that is essential to its strength.

We need people who are different than us for us to actually be the church on mission in the world.

So difference is not the problem.
Division is.

Christ has broken down the dividing walls between us, but we do our best to rebuild them.
Christ has put an end to enmity, but it seems to find its way back in.
Christ has reconciled the world to God, but we can’t seem to be reconciled to one another.

Go figure.
And it’s not (just) us who lose.
It’s the world that loses.

And that’s why the sunrise service was a good moment for the Kingdom coming on the Bayshore, as it is in heaven. We, a church of churches, working – and worshipping – together. Celebrating, proclaiming, and embodying new life in Christ, and with it, the renewal of all things in him.

It was a good morning, and hopefully for the Kingdom of God in the Bayshore, the dawn of a new day to come. 

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