How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!Â
It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard,
running down Aaronâ€™s beard onto his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion.
For there the LORD has appointed the blessingâ€” life forevermore. Â Â Â Psalm 133 (HCSB)
The lectionary texts this week are about living in harmony and unity in our groups of Believers. How are we doing on that? Not so good. How can we do better?
Get on God’s agenda. This point is problematic as I have heard people in church board meetings â€œvigorously discuss with red facesâ€ how their idea was given to them by God while anyone else who disagreed with them was opposing God. So how do we know God’s agenda? Praying together is always a good start. Then looking at the suggestions or plans and checking to see if they line up with God’s character and mission for His Kingdom. Then I must ask if the idea is in line with what God has called our fellowship to do. Every fellowship has a primary â€œcallâ€ just as each of us has a â€œcallâ€ on our life.
Look to the interests of others. Sometimes I need to support a person or group in what God has called them to do. It may be my call to be an encourager and teacher. Jesus never lost sight of His personal mission (salvation) but every day He was teaching and leading people toward knowing and living their own mission in God’s Kingdom.
Rejoice about Kingdom events. It is so hard to keep God’s â€œBig Pictureâ€ of discipleship in the forefront when most of our time in worship, newsletters, and statistics are about how the church is doing as a business. Are we meeting budget? Are we maintaining members? Do members get â€œrecognizedâ€ for their giving and service? Are we maintaining our buildings and land?
The lectionary texts tell me that I should be about delivering God’s love through what I say, how I give to and serve others, and show others the way to a relationship with Jesus. The message is to be about repentance and grace because we cannot grasp the depth of God’s grace without acknowledging our sin and need to repent. Our fellowships are to be like Jesus’ hospitals that promote healing and restoration of those who come sick and dying. And when they are healed â€“
[Jesus said,] â€œIn the same way, I tell you there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes his heart and life, than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to change.â€ Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke 15:7 (NCV)
Our worship, our church school classes, small group meetings, bulletins and newsletters should proclaim our rejoicing of those who have been healed and saved by Jesus. â€œDinner on the groundsâ€ isn’t for celebrating the past but celebrating what God is doing now.
People Get Ready Jesus is Coming by Crystal Lewis (2009)