July 19, 2020

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16)

For eighteen Sundays we’ve been unable to gather our Grace family together to do this in person. Praise God for the gifts of technology that have enabled the ministry of the word to continue among us through the book of 1 Corinthians as we’ve “gathered while scattered,” worshiping from our living rooms.

As we got to the end of Paul’s letter and he mentioned his plans to spend time with the Corinthian church in the future, I thought of Paul sending this letter out ahead of him, unable to see how it was received. I imagined Paul praying for this church and wondering what the effect of his words of encouragement and admonishment and exhortation were going to have.

I’ve had a similar feeling these past 18 weeks. Not exactly the same, thanks to email and social media and texts and phone calls! But still, livestreaming our Sunday services can feel like sending out this weekly ministry of the word and wondering if and how it’s all taking root and bearing fruit.

After Paul’s first missionary journey, we read this in Acts 15:36.

And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”

Our outdoor reflection service this Sunday has a similar aim. Let’s return to our gathered worship and hear what the word proclaimed has been accomplishing while we’ve been separated from one another.

If you plan to join us in the lower parking lot for this service, would you take time this week to reflect back over 1 Corinthians and ask the Lord, “Is there something I’ve learned, or a way that your word has been bearing fruit in my life that might encourage my Grace family?” We will invite those who wish to share to line up and speak from our podium mic one at a time.

If you plan to continue livestreaming from home, would you take time this week to reflect back in the same way and share with those in your household after the service? Let the reflection service continue in your home once the livestream has ended. And would you pray that the Spirit would prompt those who will stand and share this Sunday, giving them words we all need to hear… words for our “upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.” (1 Cor. 14:3)