NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2023
Sunday is the 9th Sunday of Kingdomtide. I will walk in the Alzheimer’s Walk, in memory of my Dad Jack Finney.
The assigned Epistle text from I Thessalonians 1 calls our attention the traits of “The Church Alive.” The church at Thessalonica was founded by Paul and Silas while on Paul’s 2nd missionary journey. He was only there initially for 3 weeks. Not long after his initial visit, Paul was in Corinth, and wrote 2 letters to this new church that we call 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. This small congregation was experiencing a very hostile environment to their faith as followers of Jesus. So, Paul begins his first letter to them giving some instructions as to what it means to be the church alive; committed, despite the circumstances, they faced to the vision and mission God has entrusted to them.
Pastor Leroy Barber when explaining the importance of overcoming barriers to healthy relationships with people whom we perceive as different from us says this: “We humans … are made in the image of that triune God. And while the imago Dei in us has many aspects, it’s clear that we are relational beings… We cannot help but function in community, and when we’re not in community, we suffer consequences. We were made to be together, and that’s by God’s design. Human flourishing requires that we establish, mend, and maintain relationships with other people.”
In Barber’s writing here, I can think of no better explanation of why it is important and why the local community of faith needs to be the church alive in their community as well. It is certainly why we at Covenant strive to be “The Church Alive!”
Join us this Sunday in-person, by Zoom, Facebook Livestream or YouTube. In my sermon, I will use Paul’s letter to this ancient church to proclaim why “Covenant – We Are the Church Alive!” The scripture text is based on “I Thessalonians 1:1-10.”