Summary: Like some gigantic tuning fork the vibrations pulse through every part of the body and for some reason we can no longer stand. We often find ourselves on our knees overcome by a feeling of love that has washed through our entire frame. In a word we feel
People of His Pasture
Today we celebrate the sacrament of communion and we receive eight new members into our church family. There are still others who also desire to join them in this commitment and we happily look forward to their celebration as well.
We first hear the word Church in Matthew Chapter 16 verse 18. The Greek word is Ekkleisa. It means a called out assembly. We have with us eight individuals who felt they were called out to this church and to this body of believers.
Who called them? I can not claim that it was my voice that they heard calling them. I’m just a messenger. The voice that has called them is the voice of Jesus Christ. My voice can only affect their ears and can only be heard as audible sound waves. I stand here each Sunday and in my feeble human attempt I read to you a portion of scripture and share how it has spoken to me. Yes I too hear a voice. I like them and so many of you hear the voice of Jesus.
His sweet voice speaks not just to my ears but to my heart and then deeper still into my very soul. It resonates so deeply within the human soul that the words and the vibrations cause the heart to move in a new and different way. The heavenly chords of His voice pass through a soul wave after wave until the waves not only move the human heart but also reach the mind the hands and the feet.
Like some gigantic tuning fork the vibrations pulse through every part of the body and for some reason we can no longer stand. We often find ourselves on our knees overcome by a feeling of love that has washed through our entire frame. In a word we feel reborn.
This is the voice that has called these dear ones. They wish to be counted among us they wish to be recognized with New St. Andrews Church. But why, what are we as a group that they find so appealing. Is it our minty fresh breath or our pleasant sounding singing voices? Perhaps it is the great home cooking that is spread out at our church functions. True the meals are great and we do sing well and for the most part our personal hygiene is within comfortable standards but no those are not the reasons.
The reason they wish to be a part of our assembly is because of the Shepherd not the flock. Jesus says it himself my sheep know my voice. We as a body of believers follow one voice not my voice not Sessions voice not Presbyteries voice and not Nationals voice. We follow the voice of Jesus Christ and he has led us to this church to this body to this Session to this Presbytery but it is His voice which must always be heard.
This calls for good ears and an open heart. That is exactly what we need as we seek to be the People of His Pasture. We need to be in Christ fold, and we need to graze on that which He provides. We need to be in His word and then His word will be in us. This is the communion we seek to be one with the Shepherd.
I was contacted this week by Margie Margaret Ellen Richardson the sister of a dear friend to this church. Most of you may not know her name but you may know the name of her dear departed brother. It is Mr. Donald Simpson who came as often as he could and who brought with him as many as he could. I would see him sitting here before me looking intently into my face as I shared the words of the gospel.
After the service he would always encourage me and I would follow up with a visit to his home and we would continue sharing together. Don never told anyone that he was dying or that he was sick. Some of us assumed he was ill based on his appearance but he never told us straight out.
On one of my few visits with him he insisted on giving me a statue to take back to the church. You see Don was a collector. All his life Don worked as an auctioneer collecting and selling the personal treasures of hundreds of strangers just like us. The statue was of a Shepherd boy carrying a lamb across his shoulders. How poetic to know that soon Don himself would be carried upon those very shoulders, Jesus shoulders. The statue he gifted to us sits outside in our garden.
I was not able to attend his funeral and I was not able to say a last good bye. What I was able to do was to share this sanctuary with him as we as an assembly of believers met each Sunday before our God. Don touched my life in the short time I knew him. Those vibrations you see the ones that emanate from Jesus and that run all through the believers frame. Those same vibrations passed through Don Simpson and into me and we shared a time with Jesus.