Central Office: 349 Wai-iti Road, Timaru, 7910  Phone: 03 686 0981       Email: oneoffice@timarupres.org.nz

Thought For The Week 23 September 2020

In my role on the Presbytery Council I am privy to information about the parishes in our presbytery. Some are doing extraordinarily well- connecting with their communities in meaningful ways, looking after their folk well,  encouraging the gifts of the people to be expressed and developed, making room for a new generation of leaders etc. But other churches are not doing so well;  declining congregations, shrinking resources, inward looking. For these parishes closure can seem imminent.

I have often pondered what the difference is between those churches who flourish and those which don’t. The reasons can be many and varied and often outside of our control. But our reading points to something very foundational to the veracity of the church. (Matthew 16:18)

18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Jesus promises that he will build his church and not even death will overcome it. This points to the enduring nature of the church. What comes before this statement is Peter’s declaration, given by revelation, that Jesus is ‘the Messiah, the Son of the living God’. It is on this understanding of who Jesus is (Messiah means anointed King) and allegiance to him that the Christian movement has moved forward in mission in every generation since Peter uttered those words.

But if we assign a lesser identity to Jesus- just a prophet, a good moral teacher, an interesting character etc, we undermine the foundation on which the church is built. To quote Jesus’ metaphor, it is like building our house upon sand. I believe our  understanding of who Jesus truly is, is the key to flourishing in God’s mission.

 Plant Sale. Reminder that our plant sale, an important fundraising initiative for our church will go ahead under level 2 restrictions on Sept 5th. We will be monitoring the numbers in the building to ensure safe practice is maintained.

Blessings,

Brent

Categories: Thought for the week