HomecomingNovember 4, 2018 - 10:50 AM - 2:00 PMThis year's Homecoming comes at the end of a 40 purpose discovery. Our celebration service will start at the same time followed by a get together and meal in the Fellowship Hall.
- “Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It's the impetus for creating change.” --Max CarverINTRO -
Japanese crews preparing a building for demolition recently found the remains of a man in an apartment, and believe the man died a lonely death twenty years ago. A skeleton clad in pajamas was found lying on musty bedding when workers entered the second floor unit where the man had lived. The newspaper on the kitchen table was dated February 20, 1984.
Authorities say the man worked for a construction firm that built the apartments in 1973. They believe he moved into the vacant building after the firm managing it went bankrupt. They say the man, aged 57 at the time, suddenly stopped coming to work twenty years ago. He was divorced and had children, but none of his family or friends ever asked police to search for him. After hearing the gruesome news, a neighbor said, “I had no idea that the apartment even existed. After I heard the news I thought, ‘It’s as if time had stopped in this one place.’ ”Relationships add much to our lives.This sad story describes a live of isolation.Anybody that will not engage with others risks dying a slow, lonely death.They miss their opportunity to live a full rich life in community with others.EST - Our passage speaks of being part of a community.ESS - Our message will describe living life in community.OSS - The message will conclude with a challenge to compare how you live your life to the one God calls you to live.TRANS - Let’s turn together to God’s Word of instruction for how we should live our lives.What does it say?I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts.What does it mean?There are benefits to living our lives in community with others.Life in community makes days richer.Writing for MSN Money, Liz Pulliam Weston advises retirees:“Forget about the daily ups and downs of the marker. What matters most are your health, your friendships, your family connections.”She adds:“Another good way to combat depression and social isolation is by cultivation a wide circle of friends. Yet most of us have a tough time making friends as we get older. Our lives get busy, our habits get more ingrained, we become less flexible. Happy retirees say it’s worth the effort. Good friends of all ages can be a huge asset in retirement. The older friends are important as sounding boards and guides to what’s ahead. Friends our own age get our jokes and pop culture references, while younger friends give us fresh insights, keep us from getting to set in our ways—and help prevent us from outliving all of our companions.”Weston wrote that to retirement age people.But, here advise has universal appeal.Recently we voted to work a strategy to improve how we connect with millennials.We learned that each generation brings their own sort of culture.Older folks were influenced by wars and trips to the moon while younger folks heard, for the first time, an attack on US soil, school shootings, and public place bombings.Different generations can get along and Weston’s advice reminds us that relating to people of all ages is healthy for everyone.Can you think of a better area for all-inclusive generational relationships than a church?FBC Minneola is more open than ever to being this sort of multi-generation church.Multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-generational church is such a beautiful picture of heaven.All God’s children, all created in His image, all in one community.Can you imagine the richness of experiences we will have interaction with all sorts of folks much different than ourselves?TRANS - Yes, life in community makes our lives richer.Do you know there is evidence that community life lengthen’s lives?Life in community helps us lives longer.A number of studies link religious activities with better health.On top of that, studies indicate that church goers live longer.Sure some longevity is due to healthy habits like not smoking and drinking, but even after adjusting for those things, researches still say church attendance promotes longer life.The leading author of the study, Doug Orman, stated:“We wonder if there’s something else goin on-like inner peace.”Make you wonder, will medical professionals start telling patients to go to church?When asked Orman didn’t think so by responding:“There seems to be a widespread feeling that this would be inappropriate.”Claudia Kalb wrote, in Newsweek, an article describing the physical benefits of faith.According to her sources:The life expectancy increases from 75 years (person who never attends) to 83 years (someone who attends more than weekly).I’m not qualified to analyze this research, but I am certain that following the Bible’s teaching does improve lives.Our positive interaction with one another in the church community may lengthen our lives, but will certainly improve the quality of our lives.TRANS - Life in community makes life richer and longer.But, there is more.Life in community helps us face trials.(pass paper)Take this piece of paper and crumple it into a small a ball as you can.Even if you are super strong, the ball is still 75% air.University of Chicago physicist Sidney Nagle wondered how air could hold up something as thin a sheet of paper.He studied the question by crumpling up Mylar sheets and then putting them under a heavy piston.He noted the most of the compression happed in the first few seconds, but that the piston kept crushing the sheets by small amounts up to three weeks later.He discovered that squeezing a tightly crushed wad down to half its volume takes 64 times as much force as a normal person can exert.Nagle stated, “Even a weight lifter isn’t 64 times stronger than the average person.”He found that the paper resists compression because crumples in the paper consist of small peaks joined by a network of ridges.To crush the balls further, each ridge has to buckle in two.Compressing the ball creates more ridges, which requires even more energy to break.In community, we are better able to withstand trials.God’s power is displayed as we form a network of ridges and small peaks that keep the community of believers from being crushed.But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.TRANS - Richer, longer, facing trials, there are so many benefits about life in community.But, we’re not done.Life in community has Kingdom benefits.And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.Jesus paired up the disciples to go out and minister.Two can work more effectively than one.And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.There is more to it than just getting things done effectively.We grow as we go about ministering together.We learn from one another.Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.Perhaps the most important reason is because Christian faith is not meant to be lived in isolation, but in community.The ministry is important and serving together is important.When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.Last Sunday we met with Beit Tickvah and figured out how we can work better by working together.This past Wednesday we had a leader and administration meeting.Our focus is on kingdom building.We are “one” in the sense that we know people need Jesus and as one we are better equipped to bring His message to our community.What does this mean?Fellowship in community:feeds our soulextends our life spangives us strength during trialshelps us accomplish kingdom goalsThis is one of God’s purposes for us.Are you fulfilling it?Are you making the effort to be in community with fellow believers, or are you settling for living your life in isolation?(end)
2 Corinthians 4:7–10ESV
- It Is Well With My Soul
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