Tuesday 31 March 2020
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
Gathered and Scattered
There is a beautiful embroidered banner above the inner door of our church. As you come in this week look up, it says “We gather to worship!” and as you go out it says “We leave to serve”. This is a lifestyle of what it means to be Church. We are both a gathered and scattered community with deep purpose in both gathering and scattering.
Our Bible teaching today explores being gathered and scattered by following the example of the first church in Jerusalem. They had experienced supernatural growth, but continued to be just gathered in one city and its surrounding area despite Jesus’ command to go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and then to the ends of the earth, it was only when difficulty and persecution came that they scattered.
We are meant to be a sent people. Jesus said I am sending you. I am sending you! I am sending YOU (John 20:21) and we must show the love of Jesus by doing outreach and serving our community and building relationships outside “the four walls of the church.” But we can’t do this gathered and scattered lifestyle on our own. We firstly need to worship “our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ and give thanks to Him. We need to hear from His word and be built up and equipped to know him better and live for Him. We need to receive the encouragement, accountability and love of others as we support and care for one another. And finally, be refuelled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to live out our faith in the workplace, the home, the schools, colleges and the communities we are part of.
The amazing thing I find in the story of Philip in Samaria, Is that Peter and John returned to Jerusalem but Philip stayed and continued to plant new churches and be used by God to touch the lives of many people far away from God. Our vision as a church is to be “gathered and scattered”, but we pray as we scatter, that in the future God will use some of you to become planted somewhere else that needs the Gospel. And you will become a new gathering point for the scattering of the Gospel to continue.
Acts 8 v 5-25
We gather to Worship and leave to serve