"While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'" - Acts 13:2
While we learn the history of our witness from the Book of Acts together as a congregation one of the themes that emerges is that of election. Election is always a charged word. In our American context it reminds us of democratic process (where some are glad and others mad). In religious circles it moves in the direction of questions about determinism and free will. But in the big story of the Bible, it is God's choice of a particular person or people for the sake of the many and the whole. Abraham is set aside so his family can be the source of blessing for all peoples. Moses is chosen so that the whole of Israel can be liberated.
In these next few weeks we will see the Spirit's choice to send some with a message to all. The purpose of election is always mission. Barnabas and Saul are set apart not for privilege but responsibility. My prayer for you and I in this new year is that we would joyfully embrace the responsibility of being set apart for the many - to bear the suffering of Jesus for the good of the world around us.
What that means - I trust - the Spirit will keep showing. My encouragement this month is that we have the privilege of responsibility - to represent God's good kingdom in the little things like small talk at the office and in the bigger things like the commitments we make and keep.
I am grateful to walk and pray with you for Jesus' kingdom to come and will to be done in Beaverton (and among us) as in heaven.
Here are some things to keep in mind as a church family:
SERVE ON A TEAM
Everything that happens during the week and on Sundays is a result of the church being who we are, serving as we are able. The burden and joy of serving is something that is meant to be shared across the whole church, never just a few. As you make Colossae Beaverton your home church, please make serving a priority. Sunday morning teams include hospitality (coffee/donuts/greeting/communion) set up/take down (takes at least 3-4 volunteers downstairs and 3-4 upstairs each week), Safety, Ushering, Music and Tech. Let us know how you would like to be a part of the team on Sunday mornings.
We are made to follow Jesus in community, not in isolation. Part of being who we are where we are is to live our identity out together locally. Find a community near you. Later this winter we will begin a focus on sharing faith and wrestling through questions of faith in each community. We hope you will be a part of the discussion in relationship with others.
We will be sending 2018 Giving statements this next week. The majority will come paperless, however if you would prefer a hard copy please let us know. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous financial partnership in the gospel this last year. Thanks to your generosity we have been able to sustain as a congregation as well as begin to give ourselves away to local schools and the continued work of church planting. I will share an update and financial report on Sunday February 2nd as well. If you call Colossae Beaverton your home church I would encourage you to partner with us through giving.
We are privileged to have a congregation full of young families which means that we have the responsibility to be the people of God to parents and children alike. On January 27th we will be doing child dedications. If you are a parent of a baby or young child and would like to prayerfully dedicate your child and parenting to the purposes of God please let us know. To the rest of us - let's be ready to offer our loving support to that end!
If I have not had the opportunity to spend time with you, I would love to meet up for coffee or chat after our Sunday gathering.
Grateful for you and to be called and set apart by the Spirit for the sake of the world with you!