WHAT TO DO

  • Listen to your favorite worship song.
  • Read the Biblical Text and Thoughts
  • Sit in silence and Meditate on the words
  • Journal what you hear from the Holy Spirit
  • Read the prayer and add to it as the Holy Spirit Leads

BIBLICAL TEXT

John 15:1-17 NIV

THOUGHTS –

Take a few moments to reflect on the Gospel Of John – towards the end of Jesus’ ministry.

Sit back and read the text in your Bible and then come back here for a few words to reflect on.

John 15:1-17 NIV

In verse 1 Jesus is the vine / Father is the gardener

In verse 2 If no fruit, vine is pruned so more fruit can grow

In verse 4 No fruit if not connected to Jesus

In verse 6 Not connected to Jesus / Not bearing fruit / Tossed into fire as useless

In verse 8 If connected to Jesus / fruit is borne / visible signs of discipleship

In verse 10 Obeying commands / you are in Jesus’ love – connected to Him

In verse 12 Love each other is a command (not a – if you want to)

In verse 13 Disciple will lay down their life for a friend (loving one another)

In verse 14 If you are a friend of Jesus you will do as he commands

In verse 15 Friend of Jesus / someone who has learned and followed His commands / just as Jesus followed the Father’s commands.

In verse 16 We are chosen and appointed to bear fruit that lasts.

In verse 17 “This is my command, LOVE each other.”

I am sitting in the building on the corner of 2nd AV and 26th ST.  Most of us know this building as the place the gathered community known as Puelbo Light and Life congregate on Sunday mornings (pre-COVID-19 Suspension).  Often the building is called the church.  I purposely avoid calling the building the church, because the gathered community of faith is the church.  I avoid calling the upper level a sanctuary, instead I call it a worship space, because God is everywhere and not just in a specific room, and we can worship anywhere.

Look at the passage you just read.  No where did Jesus speak of the vine being in a specific location or in specific room. Instead he was talking about us – his chosen and appointed bearers of love to the world.  We are the space that the Holy Spirit leads from.  We are connected to Jesus the vine, who is connected to the Father the gardener.

How do people know we are connected to Jesus – by the way we love one another and obey his commands.  His commands, as recorded in the Gospels are pretty straight forward, make disciples and love God and neighbors.  If we fail in those commands how connected to the Vine are we?

As we prepare for Un-Suspending, remember 2602 2nd Ave is a building and the upper level is where we gather to worship.  It is not the church.  We the gathered people are the church and people will know we are connected to Jesus and to the Father,  not by showing up at the building, but how we love one another and share Jesus with the world.

We need to gather to worship and share life together, Jesus did it with His disciples.  The house gatherings of the Jesus followers gathered often – to worship, share the message of Jesus (remember it was an oral tradition that was basically Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John’s words).

So as we Un-Suspend in the coming weeks, one of the primary things we will do as part of our time of gathering is to read the gospels together – orally.  And, allow the words to penetrate us like it did those followers of old who sold their possessions, gave freely and unconditionally to needs, and lived out the Kingdom ethic as revealed in the life and words of Jesus.

PRAYER

Lord, we have found this time of reading from your Word challenging and maybe a little difficult to hear.  Many of us have loved the building and loved things in the building, and not really loved as Jesus loved – people far from the Kingdom.  Help us to live connected to the Vine, nurtured by the Holy Spirit – we are people of the Way.  Holy Spirit prompt us to ask who have we shared Jesus with?  What fruit of the vine have we borne?  Forgive us for making the building at 2602 2nd Ave a shrine – it is a tool that is used to equip, send, and make disciples. AMEN.

VIDEO

Rend Collective – Build Your Kingdom Here *Live at EO Youth Day* (8:02)

Rend Collective – I CHOOSE TO WORSHIP (Acoustic Performance) (4:24)

UPDATE ON GATHERING TOGETHER

You have received, the letter from the Leadership Team on how we will move to Un-Suspend.  We are still targeting July 05 as our first gathering.  This is subject to the guidance of The River Conference leadership, Free Methodist Church USA leadership, and the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  At the time of this writing – the Governor has not indicated churches in Pueblo County may meet face to face.

There will be noticeable differences in how we gather safely.  No pews, not embracing (hugs, handshakes, etc), chairs located 6 feet apart, for families who reside in the same household to sit together (we are developing a chart for seating to accommodate adequate distancing), and masks for the protection of others.

Our Bishops in a recent response said it best—-

Our mission, to Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples is not, nor has it been, compromised during this season of physical distancing. We will continue to be essential even as we live out our mission house to house, in our communities, and through our collective service for Jesus’ sake. 

PLEASE CONTINUE TO MAIL YOUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS

We are close to meeting most of our obligation in terms of ministry distributions (preparations to un-suspend, tithes to the Conference, utilities, insurance, and pastoral leadership).  Thank you!