Dietrich Bonhoeffer's classic book Life Together explores the concept of deep community under Christ as God's way of discipleship. This deep and rich book reminds us that when we encounter another person, we do not encounter them alone, but under Christ. He writes, "In Christian community, the Christian needs others for the sake of Christ, and that a Christian comes to others only by Jesus Christ." Bonhoeffer of course writes deeply and profoundly about what we find in the New Testament.
When Jesus started his ministry, he called and formed a community around Him. After Jesus rose again and ascended into Heaven, that community was sent out to make disciples of Jesus. How did they do this? Most importantly, they relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. They also modeled what Jesus had done - they formed a community that we call the church. The book of Acts tells us that the earliest church "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers . . . and day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:42,46-47).
God's plan of discipleship in the church is Christians living life with God together. We learn from Jesus through each other. We pray for one another. We study the scripture together. We are there for one another in times of need. We serve one another and hold each other accountable. We participate in God's mission of salvation together. This is why we believe Sunday School or small groups are so important. These groups develop the deep community seen in the New Testament.
This Sunday, August 10th, is promotion Sunday. We are kicking it off with a church wide pancake breakfast cooked by some of our deacons. We will start serving at around 8:45. I hope you come and gather around a table with your fellow believers.
There are also a few changes that are happening Sunday. First through third grade are now going to be on the first floor in the newly renovated children's area. Just like with the preschool, each parent will check their child in downstairs at the welcome desk. Fourth and fifth grade are moving to the third floor. In building "C" on the south side there is a horseshoe with a large room at the end of it. This is now the new preteen space. Two young adult classes, Repurposed and Journey, have moved to the second floor. Repurposed is in the room next to Lion's Den and Journey is in the old 2nd and 3rd grade classroom.
I hope you come and eat breakfast with us Sunday, and get involved with a Sunday School class so that we may live life with God together! I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday.