Family Sunday-such a wonderful celebration with children, youth, young adults, and adults
worshiping, leading in communion, sharing a story, and speaking. FC is a multi-generational
church, and the fifth Sundays of the months give the congregation an opportunity to be together in the service. Youth co-leader, Erick Aguilar, spoke on the theme “The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.”
His first point was that “many hands make light work.” Teamwork is powerful. When significant parts are pulled together, they are stronger. Erick cited Nehemiah 4:15-17a as an example.
“When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and
that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on
the wall. But from then on, only half my men worked while the
other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats
of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of
Judah who were building the wall. (NLT)
Several of us from FC saw the gigantic wall around Jerusalem in January. It is impressive. Why did Nehemiah lead a group of exiles to build the wall after being exiled for seventy years? God had directed Nehemiah to do so. Returning to their homeland was unheard of; yet it happened under Nehemiah’s leadership. It took only fifty two days to rebuild the wall after great opposition. ( https://nehemiahlv.org ) That is how powerful team work can be.
Erick’s second point was that it is easy to attribute the wall rebuilding to Nehemiah; however, the story is not only about him. Everyone came together. Nehemiah 4:21-22 tells how
“we worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And
half the men were always on guard. I also told everyone
living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they
and their servants could help with guard duty at night and
work during the day.” (NLT)
Erick stated that he felt that God will do incredible things at Faith Chapel. We need to say no to the enemy and each of us work on His wall with a sword in our hands. (The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.) Everyone is part of the solution not the problem if we each do our part. What would FC look like if each of us built and guarded?
The third point was “when in doubt, follow Jesus, be like Jesus.” Matthew 28:18-20
“Then Jesus came to them and said,’All authority in heaven and
on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples
of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the
very end of the age.” (NIV)
Jesus commanded His disciples then and us now to share Jesus with others. May we go arm in arm, actively praying and sharing what Jesus did and does in our lives.
Also as Jesus served others, we should too. Erick warned us to not get caught up in self
obsession which is our human nature. In Luke 22 after the LORD served His disciples the cup
and the bread, He told them that one of them would betray Him. They began to question which disciple it was. In Luke 22:24 it states that “A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be the greatest.” How ironic that they had passover and communion with the Messiah, and yet they let their egos rule instead of surrendering their pride.
It is easy to criticize the disciples, but that warning is for us too. It is countercultural to surrender our wills to the LORD. However, Paul told the Ephesians 4:11-12
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,
the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service,
so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity
in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become
mature, attaining to the whole measure of fullness of Christ.” (NIV)
We are to serve each other together and to build up the body of Christ. May we have a life style of service as Jesus did.
Finally, God has given every believer gifts. Our responsibility is to use our gifts for the body.
In 1 Peter 4:10, Peter writes that “each of you should use whatever gift you have received to
serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Won’t it be great to see
what the LORD does through this community when we surrender our gifts to Him? We all win
together. God does not want us to stand on the sidelines to see if we like it but to get into the game. A significant statistic Erick shared was that only 30% of those who grow up in the church, after age eighteen, stay in the church. However, of that 30% who stayed, 70% saw their parents actively serve in the church-a lifestyle of service. That is an important legacy.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Think of the gifts the LORD has given you and ask Him how He can use your gifts in the body. God can use you in ways you will not believe if you let Him. May we be salt and light in this dark world.
Larry & Annette Linthicum