Exhortation: 1-22-15

Today let us come together to draw deep from the well at the Spring of Living Water. Let us be reminded of our constant need to go back to the well and discover the breadth, the length, the height, and the depth of the well that brings to us this Living Water. May our thirst be quenched because we have not missed the opportunity given to us to learn from the Christians who have gone before us throughout the centuries. May our own thirst not only be quenched but may we be inspired to serve one another, to love more adamantly, to live in unity by the way of sincerity, to live together reverently, and to effectively encourage others so to do.

Whether we wade into the water with the Ethiopian and Philip, or harmonize with Paul and Silas behind bars, weep with Bonhoeffer for the sake of his captors, agonize with Ebherhardt for peace; we cannot deny that God has from the inception of His Church chosen real people across time and real space to be grounded and rooted in His work. We must not ignore centuries of brothers and sisters (God Loving Christians) who have become a rich well of resource as their lives are passed on to us. When we include them in our life today, our perceived needs often become little more than mirrors of our fallen culture.

We are not alone; their is a great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us; they are calling us on, and beckoning us to join them in the choir of the Saints. We need these earlier Christians, we need our brothers and sisters to unite us with the strength of our heritage that we can and must draw from. Their wisdom and experience are our foundational resources for the Christian life and ministry. We may continue to draw from and learn from their insights, we can grow by allowing them to instruct us, and we can avoid misery by knowing their blind spots.

We must be a people who love the Scriptures and value the study of our history as a people so that our life might be full. Let us hear the voices from afar bring us encouragement, and may they provoke us to change, let us be willing to hear them speak into our lives the conviction we will need to develop the faithfulness for the road that we must travel.

May we be motivated by the Love of Jesus to unite reverently as we seek together the way The Lord would desire our lives to be joined. Let us leave our wants, and wishes as we seek that which is greater and can only be found in His will. May we always see ourselves in context to the rest of the family God has provided for us. May we be quick to forgive and be reconciled to our brothers and sisters. May our personal desires, wants and needs always be shadowed by the needs of others and found only in the will of the Father.

Today we live in a time that is consumed by distraction and our attention is merely captured by the temporary. May we with great intention step from the way of this world and welcome around our tables the spiritual leaders, scholars, pastors, preachers, educators, and other Christians who have not only gone before us, but who are also walking amongst us. Let the centuries be ours, and may we expand the history of a people who were intent on knowing the fullness of what is means to be Christian in the fullness of the Body of Christ.

May we be faithful partners with those whom God has revealed to us and joined us with in real time. Let us give thanks for them and the implicit criticism their lives have been on ours. Let us cherish the love they have given us as they pour courage into our humble life together story. May our fellowship and partnership be of mutual benefit and may we prove to be courageous and faithful when given the opportunity to do the same.

We have joined together around these tables to reflect on the nature of our meeting together. We are joined to an epic story that finds itself historically rooted in an event Jesus shared intimately with His disciples who sought to be with Him and received from Him the command to love one another. We with others are the fruit of His life. Now let us submit one to another out of reverence for Christ as we live within His command. May His authority be evidenced in our lives in such a way that others would one day glorify His name.

Adsideo may we be ever willing to live in the continuance of the Church and draw from the depth of the well that gives us Living Water.

Pastor Jim Wicks