In our last series, we talked about loving our neighbours, and stepped through six shifts. From stranger to neighbour to acquaintance to partner to friend to becoming “like family”.
It’s possible to become like family with a focused group of people, where you practice loving your neighbours within that small group, and see that spill over to others outside.
This series looks specifically at this stage of being “like family” with other followers of Jesus. It’s called the church, believe it or not. Important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.
You probably have all sorts of preconceived notions of what that word means. Attached you’ll find a video of some people on the street who were asked about what they think of when they hear “church”.
You can find the video here:
Question: When you hear the word “church” what do you immediately see, or think? Make a list, there may be several. What experiences have informed you?
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This week, we’re exploring how a church community should be committed to connectedness to God in worship.
Humans will never be more connected to God than in the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God. The Bible includes the book of Revelation, which recounts John’s vision of the kingdom of heaven. Here’s what he described about angels, and then humans:
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE Lord GOD ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS, AND IS, AND IS TO COME." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:8-11)
Even in the kingdom, there is worship. The word may not appear in this reading, but the core meaning is there. Worship means “to give worth to something.” And the words “you are worthy” are right at the beginning of the words the elders say in their heavenly worship.
You can tell what someone values by how they spend money, time. You can see what’s worth their limited resources. Worship is spending our limited time on God. It’s an expression of love.
In our Marriage and Parenting courses, we introduce the five love languages. Some communicate and receive love through words, touch, acts of service, time, and others through gifts.
In the same way, we can show love to God through various “languages”. Worship includes prayer, and music, confessing sins, asking forgiveness, reminding ourselves what we believe, reading the Bible together, and more. All aspects of how communities of Christians worship.
These are all ways to communicate God’s worth in our eyes. You can see it in this reading. The elders say, “You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power” but then they tell him why: he is the creator of everything.
He knows all this, of course. But this is a time for humans, mortals, to feed that back to him. To acknowledge he is at the cetner of our lives, not the periphery, and we’re not going to deny it.
Question: How do you know someone values you? What do they say, do, or not?
Reminder: Earlier in this series, we saw the importance of reading the Bible together in sync, so our new daily bible readings start today in our mobile app and web site.
This series looks at becoming “like family” with others learning to follow Jesus. We're exploring how the church is not a building, institution or event, but a community of people. It's important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.