Next week we are going to encourage as many as possible to enjoy a picnic together after our regular Sunday morning time of worship. The question is why?
I believe that all too often we fail to see the importance of true fellowship together. When the Lord Jesus called his disciples He did so that they ‘’might be with him” (Mark 3:14). Of course The Lord called them to a ministry of preaching, healing and teaching. Yet, this ministry was only possible in as much as it flowed out of a relationship with Him. Furthermore the disciples were called into relationship one with another. Although we see this evidenced prior to Jesus’s death, it is possibly most visible after His ascension. Remember how on the day of Pentecost 120 disciples were ‘’gathered together” (Acts 1:14). Indeed this wasn’t a one-off, but appeared to be the pattern expressed by the early-church.
Not for one-minute would I advocate simply emulating these early believers. Yet, I do believe we should constantly ask what the church of the 21st Century should look like. And the truth is, I believe that we should look more like the 1st Century church than we presently do. But how? By remembering that the true church ought to be hallmarked by radical, counter-cultural relationships; through which the Lord reveals the transforming power of His grace and forgiveness which is evident as those from different cultures, interest groups and socio-economic backgrounds gather as brothers and sisters under the headship of one Lord! After all, didn’t Jesus say; Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples“? (John 13:35)
Hope you make the picnic! God bless, Gareth