Join us tomorrow as we wrap up the month of June together.
Cafe Liberty from 9:45 AM until Worship @ 10:15 is our greeting and fellowship time tomorrow.
Then, on the following Sunday (July 2nd), fellowship follows the morning service, with a refreshments/reception for all.
Our ministry time tomorrow is a bit unusual. I call it a “mini worship workshop” including a time of prayer we’ll share together for all who are facing health challenges and other tests in life.
At the heart of all we do as a congregation is the priority that is deeply rooted in the New Testament. It’s the call to worship the Lord.
Worship is the defining expression of a redeemed believer. When Jesus first used the word “worship”, it was in a very surprising way.
He met a woman who had no reason whatsoever to expect any attention from Him, and with no background or preparation for what He came to provide, Jesus simply stated this highest of priorities: “The Father is seeking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24).
The stunning reality of a new era of worship was announced, first, not in a cathedral or a huge auditorium, but in a quiet conversation Jesus started with “the woman at the well”, as she is often called.
In fact, it’s notable that she remains unnamed in the narrative recorded by the Gospel writer, John the beloved. In a sense, by being known simply, as “the woman at the well”. we’re given a timeless reminder that our heavenly Father offers the wondrous reality of worship to every human being.
Just think: What need is more basic and essential in our lives than drinking water? Of all the symbols Jesus could have chosen to illustrate worship, water became his “Exhibit A”!
How gently Jesus stepped into the working world of a woman wearied by her struggles in order to open this door of worship to all thirsty souls.
Even more fascinating is the way that story starts.
The Gospel of John explains that Jesus was “wearied from his journey” and so “was sitting beside the well” when a woman came to draw water.
The Lord in His earthly journey was literally thirsty when the conversation began. It wasn’t an act.
It was all very real. Jesus chose a path that tired him physically.
His physical need for water demonstrated that He would go the full distance (a distance that led to the shedding of His blood) in order to open a new way of worship for all of us.
His choice of that route shows why humans need worship (for our souls) just as much as we need water (for our physical survival).
In that conversation with the woman at the well, Jesus gave His future church, the Bride of Christ a model for ministry that is as powerful and relevant in 2023 as it has ever been. He gave us a way to worship that fits every season and circumstance of life. The weariness that often comes through work and walking through tests and adversities is no obstacle to the kind of worship Jesus offers. In fact, it is exactly FOR our type of world, with all its stresses and struggles, that Jesus described worshiping the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. The first woman who heard about that amazing gift couldn’t help running to share it with everyone in her village. She had no qualifications other than having met Jesus. From His lips to her thirsty soul, the Word of the Lord gave her confidence to offer His living water to everyone she met.
From the heart of a grateful believer, running to the opportunity to worship Him again, we get a picture frame for our church and our lives as well. We, truly, can echo the psalm that says:
“Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together.”
(Psalm 34:3 NIV)
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Also, we’re offering a Water Baptism Orientation time for anyone who hasn’t yet been baptized or has questions about water baptism. I invite any adults who would like to know more about the why, how, where and when of water baptism to a brief orientation on Wednesday evening, June 28th @ 6:30 PM. Then, instead of a separate evening for Kids, we’ll have the Parent(s) and Kids baptism orientation next Wednesday as well, but at 7:30 PM. It’s a joy to share these steps of faith. RSVP via reply to this email or text me at 410.596.4096 to let us know if you would like to attend.
Looking ahead….Our annual church cookout is on Sunday August 27th. Sign-up sheet to bring side dishes of your choice is on the Connections Table.
So grateful for all whose care and generosity opens opportunities for others to find new life, hope and vision in Christ Jesus.