I told people Sunday that “Friendship” was the wrong title and “Kinship” should replace it, so I figured I could make that change here on the blog. 🙂
Colossians is finished. Four Chapters. Fifteen sermons. Roughly ten hours of preaching per service over that time. As we were in chapter two I never thought we would finish and then the rest flew by. During this time Evan Godbold decided to move to Tomball and Jonathan Madrid took the role of worship pastor. A lot can happen in fifteen weeks.
We ended with the closing–the names of the people–on purpose. In fact, I had not heard the closings of letter preached until I heard Matt Chandler preach the same passage four years ago. It was then that I realized the power of the end of a letter–what it communicated to the people was much more than just a list of name. They were stories of transformation. . .
The points from the sermon were simple. I am not usually a complex point maker. It’s my achilles heel. I wanted the stories underneath the book to carry us. Here were them summarized:
- People saved by grace bring grace: The covenant community–the church–has been saved by grace. We have the words of life because Jesus has changed us. Thus, we must be a part of bringing the good news of Jesus to people–whatever the cost.
- People bringing grace must give grace to each other: Do you think Paul and Onesimus would go to a bar together? Onesimus was a slave. He and Paul were night and day different. Do you think that John Mark would’ve been on the short list of people Paul wanted to bring with him after John Mark abandoned him (Acts 13:13; 15:38)? Christians must always be forgiving, restoring, unifying, and doing it again the next day when we are betrayed (or betray another). The mission requires is. But for grace. . .
- The mission defines our relationships: Being a part of a church family means Jesus is the only thing that defines us. There is no Jew or Greek. There is no slave or free. Christ is all. As he sends us out, we allow that to mission to pull us along together–always willing to release people we love deeply to continue the mission in other ways.
That, for me, is the hardest. Am I concerned about what God is doing in this world or am I concerned about what I would like God to be doing in the world? They often are not the same.
I’ve been grateful for the past fifteen Sundays together. And I’m grateful for however many more the Lord gives us together at the Oaks.