From Pastor Reed...
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.” The disciples had been gathering together, perhaps motivated by self preservation. They might have been suspicious of one another, but they were even more uncertain about trusting anyone outside their group. While with Jesus they had spent a good bit of time out of doors, but since the arrest, crucifixion, death and news of the resurrection it seems they have huddled together behind closed doors. However, if the initial motivation had been fear of being discovered and arrested, they were also obeying the request of the risen Christ for them to stay in Jerusalem. They were waiting for power, wind/Spirit power, and while waiting they filled the vacancy left by Judas with Matthias.
The Bible refers to the importance of the individual as a vehicle through which God works to fulfill kingdom plans, but of equal importance is the gathered assembly. Whether the reference is to the nation of Israel, or the followers of Christ (the church), we are reminded of the value of being gathered together. As one of our hymns suggests, “And are we yet alive, and see each other’s face?” For many years “And Are We Yet Alive” has been sung at the opening of our annual conference as a reminder that even though we are scattered in ministry, it is good to come together for fellowship, inspiration, healing and hope.
The demands of an ever growing church make it harder to come together for one service, but periodically we give it a try. This Sunday is one of those attempts during which we will celebrate with our Confirmation Class. We all like our worship “turf”, traditional or alternative/contemporary, but we still need those times when we do see each other face to face for worship, fellowship, inspiration, healing and hope. God continually seeks to work through us, individually and collectively. And who knows, we just might feel a new wind/Spirit stirring around us.
I hope to see many of you face to face this Sunday. And just in case there is any lingering question, the answer is “Yes,” the 8:30 a.m. service will meet. Even though we might not all attend the same service, our unity is based on a covenant with one God and the mission of Jesus Christ!
Grace and peace,
“Partnering with God to transform the world by offering help, hope, and healing through Jesus Christ”
(Mission Statement of Hixson UMC)