As we begin taking steps to be established as new church, we have to be clear that planting new churches is something that Jesus does by the working of His Spirit. People do not plant new churches.
People can start political parties and business and social clubs, but the Church is not an ordinary human endeavor. The Church is made up of ordinary humans, but they are ordinary humans who have been made new by the preaching of the gospel and the work of the Spirit. That same Spirit that gives new life to individual people is the One who knits people together into communities called churches. And the stitches He uses are Word and Sacrament, prayers and praise.
But this same reality is at work here at this table. This is ordinary bread and wine that God promises to work through. He promises to be present here by His Spirit, feeding us with the life of Christ. In same way, we actually believe God has been present since the Call to Worship at the beginning of the service. We gather to do ordinary things like pray and sing and hear the Bible read and explained and then share this bread and wine, but God is the One at work doing extraordinary things through these ordinary things.
The primary thing we are instructed to do is believe that. Trust in Christ, that He who began a good work in us will continue that good work. But with eyes of faith look for the evidences of that good work. Was there something in one of the hymns or psalms that spoke directly to your situation? Was there something in one of the Scripture readings or the sermon? Or was it in a conversation before or after the service? That’s the Holy Spirit knitting us together. Christ is the Gardner, and He is planting this Church. His Spirit is the one pulling the threads of our lives together through the gospel, through this bread and wine, through the water of baptism, through the prayers and psalms and fellowship.
So Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.
Photo by Syahrin Seth on Unsplash
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