Summary: People and missions -equals church Neighbors are the people you choose not the ones next door.
In the weeks since Easter we have been looking at Bible passages that dealt with God’s vision and expectations.
I applied the over all view to being a church that lives and ministers beyond the walls of this building as being an absolute necessity if we were to be living as a church and as Christians in our world…our community today.
Last Sunday was Pentecost which was an example of the fire of God…the Holy Spirit sent the 120 disciples out of the upper room where they were waiting…praying and into the Jerusalem community and the Church grew by 5000 people that day.
If they had owned a building they would have out grown it in one day…..but they did not own a building….the church that grew was a group of people that became believers in Jesus Christ. And most of them went home to places all around the known world. They did not stay to build anything….however they did go and build the church.
Today we are going to add on to the idea that there are people and missions outside of the walls of this church. Ever since I was appointed here, almost two years ago, we have I have had a fascination with the church providing a park for the use of the community. I think it is one of the coolest things I have ever considered. The acceptance of this property years ago was actually a visionary thing to do.
It is obvious that there was a lot of work needed over the years to keep this resource available. Most of the physical efforts were accomplished by only a few of the people connected to this church…..however, we all have the opportunity to enjoy the resource and the gift.
Personally I believe that the Willard Nixon Park is an amazing tool to glorify God while being a wonderful example of good stewardship.
Can you sense it…do you know what is coming next?
I imagine some of you do….you can almost here the words “ however or a but” on the way.
So here it is….however, I wonder why, with this God given resource that consistently draws people to the living waters of Silver Creek for refreshment and joy has the church done so little to offer those same people living waters of Jesus Christ.
Here is my point that I want to focus on this morning….owning, providing, and maintaining is simply work. There is some tiny hint toward glorifying God because of the WORK.
But . it is a lot like the existence of air…everyone takes it for granted. Most people, including Christians fail to be grateful for the things that are just always there.
Let’s pause to read our scripture this morning: Luke 10:25-37
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: " ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ’Look after him,’ he said, ’and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
What a cool story. Jesus is in a teaching situation and an expert in the law, a Levite, a Torah scholar, asks Jesus a soft ball question.
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"