"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
As we launch the new Eleven30 Service this Sunday, we reached another milestone in MPCC. This second Sunday Service will see our Filipino brothers and sisters joining in. It will also open a new avenue for service and ministry. We should be seeing some of our younger leaders leading, preaching or serving in other ways.
The launch of a new Service reminds us that we have a mandate to share Christ with a world in need of Him. A Service is a public event where visitors are welcomed. It is also an important node for our friends to pass through if we have been reaching out to them. For others, it is a soft introductory event which could lead to a person to finally join our community.
And what has the church to do with Christ? Everything!
The Church has nurtured me since I found Christ at the age 13. As St Augustine has said, The Church is truly the mother of Christians." It is the Church of generations past who has transmitted her life, teachings, witness, culture, love to me; via the Living Church of today. She is not only the institutional Church or hierarchical Church, as if we can label as Anglicans, Pentecostal, Baptist or Roman Catholic. More broadly and simply, by “Living Church”, I meant the Church which is serving, praying, active and contemplative, remembering and searching, believing and struggling through life’s myriad situations. She , forges visible and invisible links between her members; the Church of the humble who are close to Christ's heart.
She recruits from every culture and quarter, carrying on even in periods of decline or failure, loyal and self-sacrificing, always taking the road that ascends despite the weight of our nature. She testifies in silence - and sometimes loudly - that the Gospel is always fruitful and the Kingdom is already in our midst. Much more, the entire Church, without distinction, this immense flock of Christians, so many of whom are unaware of their royal priesthood and of the fraternal community they constitute—in this community I find my support, my strength, and my joy.
And I have been through Church in a variety of ways. Different styles of worship, varied congregation sizes, church government and mixes of different cultures coming together. Large or small, it does not matter. After all Jesus sets the bar very low as a condition for His blessed presence - two or three (see Matthew 18:20)!
Brothers and sisters, let's continue to love and serve His Church. And do pray for the new Service, that she will be a seed that will grow into a fruitful plant one day, just as Jesus has said:
“With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32