Well, we're gearing up for our new series launch of 'Celebrity Servant' this weekend.
Its a journey through the Gospel of Mark, essentially looking at what it means to follow Jesus, the humble and true Celebrity, in a culture obsessed with celebrity.
But before we go there, please allow me to give some final thoughts on Genesis 26, the passage I've spent the last three weeks looking at on Sundays. I believe it's a timely, prophetic passage for us as a church, and calls for a timely response from each of us.
It tells of Isaac, the son of Abraham who stays and plants crops in a time of famine, instead of running to Egypt like his father did during the famine of his time. God promises to bless him where he is and so he unstops the wells that his father had dug, digging some new wells of his own too. These wells sustain Isaac and his family in famine, enabling them to become providers not survivors, and God increases what they sow 100 fold.
As a leader of a community intent on sowing the seed of the gospel into the soil of our city, I want to call each one of us to gather around three wells which can resource us on mission.
The first is the well of fellowship in the form of life groups. Like in Acts 2, as a church grows, its ability to 'break bread from house to house' is crucial in maintaining authentic community. I am persuaded that a regular, intimate connection around the scriptures and preferably good food, is the primary way in which we mature as followers of Jesus. Circles are better than rows!
The second is the well of partnership in the form of serving. It's probably the most visible Christ-like quality of a disciple, that we live not as consumers but as servants. You might say,"Isn't serving where we pour ourselves out for people? That doesn't sound like a well to me." Well yes, serving is for others, but scripture is clear that serving others is for our benefit too. "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Jesus said, 'My food is to do the will of my Father."Serving others nourished him. Paul said, 'the body is built up as each member does its work."
(Eph 4) A working body is a healthy body.
Finally, I want to call you to the well of prayer. At the end of Genesis 26, Isaac builds an altar and calls on the name of the Lord, after which he pitches his tent and digs a well. Prayer, family, work. In that order. Prayer is the humble acknowledgement that apart from God we can do nothing. Prayer is the faith statement that we can sow, but only God can grow. Prayer is an insistence upon having the presence of God with us in all He has called us to.
This week we have signups for life groups, serve teams, plus it is our first 133 gathering - the whole church united in vision and prayer on the 2nd wednesday of each month. Let's all gather around these wells of fellowship, partnership and prayer for the sake of well-watered seed in the soil of our city.