Friday, November 21, 2008

looking forward, looking back

This Sunday morning is our annual Open Home Open Year service. We will look back at the year past and celebrate what God has been up to. We will ask the question, “How has grace been at work amongst us?” A team of artists will paint our “Building the Kingdom” house, as ministry leaders share. (Following the service, those who’ve booked for Guess who’s coming to lunch can continue to reflect on the year past with their mystery guests/hosts).

(Also, if you have any photos of things the church has been up to in the past 12 months (December 2007 – November 2008), please email these through by Saturday at 3.30pm so they can be included in a presentation looking back at the year past.)

As a church, we start our year in February. Refreshed by a summer break and inspired by our church annual meeting, we choose one Bible text, which might shape our year and our vision.

This year it was the book of Philemon and the phrase “Building the Kingdom.” Philemon is a tiny book buried in the back of the New Testament. It is the story of a broken relationship, a slave in dispute with his master. The slave runs from conflict, only to encounter the unexpected and life changing grace of God. The slave is transformed. He realises he needs to face his past. The letter of Philemon offers us a gracious, practical, relational, honest Christianity, in the real struggles of our life.

To help us focus on the theme, a house was built and placed at the front. Each week it has stood before us, asking us to examine our priorities. How are we, as a church, building the Kingdom in living a gracious, practical, relational, honest Christianity?

To also help focus on the theme, each person was given a house to take home. It was smaller and made of card. They were invited to make the house and to examine ourselves, as individuals, in our homes and workplaces, building the Kingdom in living a gracious, practical, relational, honest Christianity?

Kiwi’s tend to lose December in a blur of Christmas shopping, end of year functions at school and work. So come late November, as a church we pause and reflect on the year past. This is our task today in this Open home, open year service. How has the the book of Philemon and the phrase “Building the Kingdom” shaped and challenged our life this year? How has grace been at work among us?

Posted by steve at 12:55 PM

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