Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World
Bishop McKee was at Wesley on Sunday evening to meet with our East District churches. Wesley, we did an amazing ministry hosting, with approximately 25 people volunteering to greet, usher, provide refreshments, and serve Communion. A particular word of thanks to our Board Chair Pete Haayen for rallying everyone and ensuring Christian hospitality was extended to all. Our staff team did an amazing job! Thank you to Judy London (Visual Media) for working out several last minute changes, to Natalie Pegg for creating effective signage to guide people and helping Judy. Thank you to Brock Johnson for leading worship. Chris Bullock and Al Cope did an amazing job providing worshipful music.
A component of Bishop McKee’s address served as a word of encouragement and caution. He told the story of a person who was on a soul journey and one day stumbled upon a stream of clear, crisp living water. It was so good that he decided to build a house right next to it. As others came to the living water and enjoyed the house, they decided to build a fence around it to protect it. Once a fence was built, in short order, they put in a gate. If you have a gate, well you have to have a gatekeeper to regulate who comes in and who stays out. Next thing you know, the living water dried up, but the well-regulated house, fence and gate (with gatekeeper) became an institution unto itself… this was not at all what our pilgrim was seeking or seeking to have happen, so he walked on, looking for living water again. Our pilgrim again finds a stream of living water. He builds a house to welcome people so they too may have the living water. These folks decide to build a fence to protect the house. Then they install a gate and, as we all know, a gate must have a gatekeeper. Once again the pilgrim saw the living water dry up but the late comers, so enamored with the house, fence and who was going to control the gate simply, institutionalized the whole lot ignoring why it was built in the first place. Again, the pilgrim sets to the road in search of more living water. He finds a stream of ____ _______, and decides to build a ______. Others come and decide to protect the house so they build a _______. Every fence needs a _____. Every gate needs a __________ to decide who goes in and out… I hope you see the pattern.
The encouragement of our Bishop was for us to never stop searching for living water. When we find the living water, it is good to build a house nearby. But the day we decide to “protect” our house, to keep people away from the living water — once we establish a gate-keeping system which keeps even the thirstiest and most needy at bay — somehow the Living Water of God stops flowing. Our job as the faithful church, placed here to offer the living water we have been given, is not to protect what we have. It is to freely give Living Water, trusting God to provide more as needed without fear of running out or danger of who may come.
Our mission is to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.
Chris Yost [email protected]