We have had a couple of extraordinary years as a Church. God has richly favored us. As a sign of this favor, we will be adding new members this coming Sunday. And part of being a member of Providence means abiding by a common covenant; sharing a common agenda.
In the next few weeks I would like to explore very briefly the covenants we make with one another and this congregation.
Our Church Covenant states that we “joyfully and solemnly enter into a covenant with the members of Providence Church.” And this is the first of those covenants:
We commit to walk together in Christian love through the power of the Holy Spirit and to strive for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
This is taken directly from Ephesians four where the apostle Paul says that we are to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3).” In an age where church divisions are quite common, the Bible calls us to do something very uncommon: to work hard at unity. What does this mean? This means as a member you have to do something. You can’t simply sit passively going through the motions of membership. You actually have to work at something, and in this case working to ensure that– for the next 3 months to 30 years, or however long God keeps you in our midst—Providence Church continues to be a model of peace to the world.
The difficulty of keeping the peace is that you can’t simply lock yourself up in a closet, because that would be easy; but walking together in Christian love means loving in context; loving those around you. This is what is expected of you as a member of this congregation: to embody a theology of love. Some of you come from broken environments where divisions were expected and it is your duty to make this into an alternative city; a city that functions differently
One powerful way we begin to exercise this Christian love is by coming together today and walking together in this liturgy: smiling, singing, and striving to make this a house of peace, through the Spirit who is Himself the bringer of peace.
Prayer: Our God, apart from you peace is impossible, but with you peace is our great agenda. Mature this body of believers to love, serve, and bring the shalom of God to one another, through Christ, our Peace, Amen.