2023 is going to be a pivotal year in the life of The Fount. During this year the congregation will either be able to leave The United Methodist Church and join the Global Methodist Church, or it will be thwarted in its attempt to disaffiliate and will need to make some other major decisions. Only the Lord knows what this year will bring for us. But I want to begin the year by preparing for what is ahead, even though we don’t really know for sure what IS ahead for us!
So, I will be giving a series of sermons starting this coming Sunday, January 15, 2023, that focuses us on starting afresh. The series is called “Fresh Start.”
We began the year with our annual Covenant Renewal Service, wherein we recommitted our lives and our church to following Jesus, no matter what. We followed that up with a Remembrance of our Baptisms, which marks the beginning of our spiritual journeys as Christ-followers. Beginning this Sunday, I want to explore some critical areas where a fresh start is needed.
On January 15th, the theme will be “Follow”, using Mark 1:16-20 and Mark 10:17-22. We will look at these two passages in Mark’s gospel as they relate to Jesus’ call on our lives and how our response to that call makes all the difference. As Wesleyans, we believe that we are saved by grace, and that our part of the puzzle includes responding to the Holy Spirit’s call on our lives. We are not robots or puppets, but free agents in whom God desires to establish a relationship of love. Jesus beckons us, but we must choose to follow.
Then, on January 22nd, we’ll turn our attention to one of the most important, if not THE most important element in our following of Jesus: Worship. We need a fresh start in worship! We’ll be looking at Isaiah 1:12-17 and John 4:23-24 as we examine Worship. What is it? Why do we do it? How do we do it well?
On January 29th we will talk about “The Word”, basing our talk around Acts 18:9-10 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We are a biblically grounded congregation! We love the Bible and the Lord of the Bible. But we cannot rest on our laurels and become complacent. We have to redouble our commitment to study and apply the Word of God in our daily lives. We need to hear the Word as addressed to us, as well as to the Church through the ages. It doesn’t come easily or naturally, so we must work at staying in the Word.
“Courage” will be our theme for February 5th. Joshua 1:1-9 and Psalm 91:1-16 are our texts. Given what our year will look like, courage is a very important element in our faith journey. Let’s face it: we could lose our church buildings! Which would mean that we would have to literally “start over” by planting a church and growing it from the core of believers we have. Or, we might just have to be pioneers in the start of a new denomination, with all that that entails. In any case, we will need to be “very courageous” as we step into the future God lays out for us.
But it must not end there! We must reclaim and restore our Mission, which will be the theme for February 12th. Looking at Matthew 28:19-20 and 1 Peter 3:15, we’ll explore what “mission” really means and how The Fount can live into the mission to which God is calling us. What do we want to do with our lives? How do we want to be spent? Or, better, How does God want us to be spent? It isn’t just about making the world a better place; it’s about helping people to secure residence in an even better place! Making disciples of Jesus Christ is what we are about.
And, finally, the series will conclude on February 19th, with “Perspective”. Based in 2 Kings 6:13-17 and Ephesians 2:8-10, we will examine how we look at things and how our world view affects what we do. The King of Aram could not shake the Israelites because Elisha supernaturally saw where Aram’s army would be on any given day and he warned the Israelites to get there first. We need spiritual discernment, an eye toward the supernatural, in order to navigate this “battle” we are in and to come out victorious. It requires all of the above, and more. Gaining the mind of Christ, this perspective, is our goal. God has placed us right where we are, right now. What are we going to do about it?
I hope you’ll join us in-person or online as we experience this new series, “Fresh Start”, beginning this Sunday, January 15th. We need “all hands on deck”!
In the Hope of Jesus,