Pastor Jennifer Heavner
Practicing Jesus' Way of Life Is Our Prime Purpose
Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-19 (MSG)
As the new school year approaches, young people are preparing for academics and practicing for their sports, band, and other activities. Most sports teams and marching bands began preparing for their big games, parades and performances in the August heat, long before school begins. The biggest obligation for any hobby, sport or team isn’t necessarily the big game or opening night; we are most committed to the practice and development of our skills. Practice, practice, practice ensures that when the big day comes, we can confidently perform. Practice and preparation impact the way we live, work and play.
Practice is key for followers of Jesus, too. In the early days of Christianity, followers of Jesus were called people of “The Way.” As communities, they dedicated themselves to living out their greatest purpose and commission from Jesus: training in the way of life Jesus embodied and declared, then sharing this way of life with others by embodying it themselves. They did this by gathering together in worship and prayer, around tables sharing meals and Holy Communion and a deep dedication to their relationship with God and each other. As they practiced and prepared themselves in this way of life, they grew in faith and changed the world.
Beginning September 8th, our Christian community is dedicating one hour to practicing the Christian way of life in an initiative called Prime Time. On Sunday mornings beginning at 9:15, people of all ages are invited and encouraged to gather in the chapel where we will hear God’s Word, unite in song and learn the bible verse of the week in American Sign Language. We will move to the Gathering Place where we will grow in our relationship with each other and God through purpose-driven activities. We will pray for each other. We will send one another into our week with a blessing. We will gather around tables to eat and play. Most importantly, as we practice and center ourselves on Jesus’ way of life, we will find rest, renewal and re-centering on who and whose we are.
I look forward to growing in faith together this year!
Yours in Christ Jesus,