June 13th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
When we think of spiritual people, we often think of people who have isolated themselves from the broader community. A monk who takes a vow of silence or a nun who is cloistered away from society. Spirituality, in popular belief, takes place when we are alone. When Thoreau went into the woods for a spiritual experience. People would fast, pray, and meditate to grow spiritually. In the early fifth century, a man named Simeon the Stylite took isolated spirituality to an extreme. He built a six-foot pole in the middle of the desert and lived on top of that pole alone. His pole gave him the freedom to commune with God without the distractions of society.
While there is a season of communion with God apart from the distractions of this world, true spirituality is not defined by isolation. Rather true Christian spirituality is communal; it takes place within the context of a body. The fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are lived out in relation to others. It is easy to fancy yourself as a loving person when there is no one who is demanding your attention. It is easy to be a patient person when no one is delaying you or giving you deadlines. It is very easy to be gentle when there is no one provoking you. However, when you enter into a body of believers you have the opportunity to bear the fruit of the Spirit. This spiritual fruit is no longer abstract but rather is a concrete expression of your love for God and neighbor.
Over this past year, we have been largely separated from our communities. We have been asked to limit contact with others to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. However, we are now able to reengage, but this re-engagement comes with difficulties. We have become accustomed to our isolation. We have become accustomed to being unencumbered by other’s needs. In our passage for this Sunday, Paul explains that spiritual people live out their spirituality in the context of community. The Spirit works to join Christians together into a spiritual body. As we strive to reengage with the community at Rivermont every Christian is called to grow in their communal spirituality. To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 6:1-6, Psalm 55:22, Matthew 18:15-17, John 13:34,1 Corinthians 10:12, and 1 Peter 5:7
As we gather to worship our loving Father this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “To God be the Glory,” the Acclamation of Praise “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," and the Hymn of Response “My Hope is in the Lord.” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!
Text: Galatians 6:1-6
Title: Communal Spirituality
- Every Christian Must Restore Community with Gentleness (v. 1)
- Every Christian Must Preserve Community with Service (vv. 2-5)
- Every Christian Must Support Community with Generosity (v. 6)