Let me start by saying that I am really looking forward to COVID and the restrictions being over. I feel like as a church we are in a kind of engagement period, where ‘we are church’, we are committed to TGS and love others and do some things together. But we are not fully church yet, we’re not married. We’re not completely together enjoying all the benefits of ‘married church’. COVID restrictions have hampered that. And if you are grossed out by the engagement married analogy, go to Ephesians 5 where Jesus says the church, you and I are a bride, his bride.
So, if the restrictions have stopped us from meeting together, how can we still be the Christian church that Jesus calls us to be e.g. “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34
In fact, there are many ‘one anothers’ that the Bible commands us to do. Encourage one another, bless one another, build up one another, forgive one another, bear with one another, spur one another on, correct one another, rebuke one another, teach one another, be generous towards one another, be hospitable to one another and the list goes on.
One of the places we do these ‘one anothers’ is in our Sunday gathering. It’s like a light showing people that week after week we meet and show love towards each other, some who may have offended us, some who are awkward, some who need a lot of attention or help due to disabilities or age. And we do this, we serve and live out the ‘one anothers’ because we are God’s loved people.
Now, COVID has stopped us from meeting at Edge Hill, so where can we do the ‘one anothers’? While we hope it is happening all the time in your relationships and friendships you have with others at TGS (even from before COVID), a place we are working to have everyone in is a Sunday Home Group. Because as you meet with people each week, it will give you the opportunity to be the Christian community that Jesus calls us to be. This is a place you can do the ‘one anothers’. And let me tell you there are people who are lonely, who are struggling, who are tired or who are eager to bless and love on others. So, there is great opportunity for new Sunday Home groups to start and be a light to your neighbours as we seek to love one another as Jesus loved us. And the thing about Jesus’ love is that it involved sacrifice; it was costly.
Friends, we will get back to Edge Hill. This season will soon end, but right now God is doing something here at TGS, something different and special that we would never be able to experience normally and I, for one, don’t want to miss it. Please contact me or the office to join a Sunday Home Group.