Summary: As we prepare go back inside our sanctuary for Worship, let's celebrate our Spiritual Connection which is a precious gift from God through Christ Jesus.
Our prayer and plan is that today is our last Sunday as a group outside the sanctuary.
• It has been an adventure being outside Sunday after Sunday.
• On March 15th of last year, church was cancelled because of COVID-19.
• The following Sunday, March 22nd we held our 1st outdoor worship service.
• This is our 43rd outdoor service.
• We have been outside every Sunday with the exception of August 23rd which was an online only service while I was on vacation.
• We spent Easter Sunday outside – Christmas Sunday outside – warm days – hot days – cold, rainy, and snowy days outside.
But now a change is coming – we are planning to make a move back inside.
• It won’t be normal.
• Masks will be worn – pews roped off – social distancing followed – hand sanitizer used.
• The radio will still be available for those who wish to remain in the parking lot, and Facebook will still be streaming for those who wish to stay at home.
But, as we have been doing now for years – the Church will still be the Church!
• Although divided – we will still be as one.
• As the sign that I have pinned to the bulletin board just inside the door here says, “Physically distanced – Spiritually connected.”
• And, as the words to the hymn we sang earlier stated: “We are not divided – all one body we.”
And that’s what I want us to focus on this morning: Being Spiritually Connected.
I). I believe that to be spiritually connected is a God-given desire for the Christian.
A). There’s no “lone wolf” in the body of Christ.
• As Christians we have a deep desire for oneness and intimacy in relationships can only be met on a spiritual level.
• Our Spiritual connection is an eternal bond.
• We know this as we see that while we may be separated from one another in this life – we will live together with one another for all eternity.
B). God is a relational God – we see this in the mystery of the Trinity.
• We do not worship three Gods, but one - yet He is revealed to us in three different distinct persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
• This oneness or connection begins with the Triune Godhead: Jesus said: “I and My Father are one!”
• The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and therefore He is in unison with God the Father and God the Son.
C). One of the most profound prayers in the Bible is the one in John 17
• Jesus (God the Son), is praying to God the Father.
• Think about it – God is speaking His desire to Himself, and His prayer is for us.
• Listen to vv.20-22, 20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
• That prayer is a prayer for Spiritual Connection.
• Christ connecting with Himself as God – and we connecting with Him and with one another.
II). Over the past 10 ½ months we have experienced a different model of the Church.
A). It’s not like any other Church we have ever experienced.
• It’s church that’s gone beyond buildings, activities, Sunday School rooms, and fellowship gatherings.
• And I have missed all of these things – but I want you to realize that – even while we have been without them – the connection remains!
B). Remember, the church is a living organism - a spiritual unit!
• God is a Spirit and wants to be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth.
• And, as we have seen, the church is much more than just activities, programs, and buildings.
III). Psalm 133:1 in the God’s Word translation says, “See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!”
A). Other translation say “unity” – we can also replaced it with the word “connection.”
• Spiritual connection (or unity) is one of the most important keys in revealing the Presence of God.
• When we are connected, God is here!