There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4–6
This past Sunday many of us drove down to Cascades Camp to join folks from Creekside and many other churches, to worship together as the 4th of July Family Camp concluded. We decided to do this about a year ago and we have already decided to do it next year. Many of my pastor friends think I’m crazy to do this. “Wait,” they ask, “you close the doors of your church on a Sunday?” “What if a new person comes, they might not come back.” “What about your budget, won’t you miss a week of offerings?” My thought out response to them is, “yup, could be.”
“So, why do you do it?”
We do it because it is important for us to realize – in tangible ways – that this is God’s church not our church. We plant and water, but God grows. God provides the people and the means to do the ministries we are called by him to do. He also calls us to be part of One Church, the capital C church, the bigger church beyond the walls of Creekside, the church of the Eastside, of Seattle, of the Pacific Northwest, of our denomination, of our country, and all of the others — brothers and sisters made family by Jesus called together to be the Church for the sake of the world and for the glory of Jesus.
When we worship at camp again next July, some folks will choose to “take a Sunday off.” OK.
Later this Summer we will “do church” with congregations from the Eastside in a park. Some choose to sleep in instead. Fine.
Three Sundays this Summer I will preach in the pulpit of sister churches while their pastors preach at Creekside. Some might say, “Maybe that is a week I can miss.” Alright.
In all that you do; in each and every way God calls you to live the extraordinary way of Jesus, he sets the table, he provides “the food” and he invites you to eat. In his grace you can choose what to eat or whether to eat, or whether to let it pass on by. I say this not as a passive aggressive guilt trip (really) but as a recognition that God gives us many opportunities to move more fully into his ways (through Creekside and outside of Creekside). Each of these opportunities presents a choice. And while you should not choose everything, you should chose some things.
A huge part of our transformation, discipleship, following Jesus is having intentionality in your life, being intentional about looking for where God is working and then joining in the opportunities that he has created for you. This intentionality is not about just about these Summer Sunday’s but about every opportunity that God brings to you – this Summer, in the Fall and beyond.
What is your intention? What is your plan? What might you choose? The banquet is set, the invitation: Come and eat, enter into the extraordinary way of Jesus.
Peace, hope and love