Jesus said, “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink…naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me…in as much that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it unto Me,” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40)
The New Testament clearly instructs us to care about hurting people. Today, as you give from your heart to help others, you are performing a ministry of care and compassion which touches the heart of our Savior Jesus.
This afternoon at 6:00 pm our church family will gather again around the table to enjoy a pot-luck meal and share in the fellowship of the Lord. There is no better way to become engaged in the love and community at Grace than to eat the food prepared by our people. You will enjoy conversations with those who brought dishes cooked with joy and loving care. When there is food to eat at church, our people cook like they are cooking for Jesus himself.
In the New Testament, such a meal was called a Love Feast:
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)
Those gathered together would regularly eat together and share in fellowship before the observance of the Lord’s Supper. The love of God’s people for one another expressed in the sharing of food was a worship expression of praise before the breaking of bread and drinking the cup symbolizing the Lord’s death. Every time we eat together, it is like the disciples once again gathering together with Jesus to break bread and share a meal.
Following our fellowship meal tonight, the church will enter into a church conference period in which we will hear reports concerning the ministry accomplished in 2018:
- Our Church Calendar for 2019 will be presented and approved.
- The 2018 year-end financial statement will be presented and approved.
- The new 2019 Church Budget will be presented and approved.
- A new Building Use Policy will be presented and approved.
- The Stewardship and Finance Team will present an important matter related to the disbursement of funds received through the “One Mile for God’s Glory” Capital Campaign.
In all, we will celebrate what our church had done and what God is leading us to do for His glory in the coming year.
This week, I have created new folders in my computer for sermons, reports and planning with the year 2019 on each one. There is now a long list of these folders in my computer’s directory. The first folders there have the date 2013 on each one. The new ones have 2019 on them which accounts for 6 years of ongoing ministry. I looked at this growing record of work gave praise for the privilege of sharing in God’s work with you:
- We are growing a legacy together.
- We are developing a new chapter of history together.
- We are increasing the kingdom of God together.
- We are establishing a testimony of faithfulness in service and love for Jesus.
As we begin another new year, let me tell you once again that I love each of you and I love serving the Lord together with you. Praise God!