Worship Companion – April 3 2022

Last week was the first of a two part series focused on life in the community of a local church. We focused exclusively on money and giving last week, mostly because it is a difficult subject to talk about in churches. This week, we are expanding our focus to include all the elements of our UTMC membership covenant, which is based on the guidelines laid out by our denomination, the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada.

The Harvesters, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The painting about depicts workers during the wheat harvest. The community works together to share the work. It is life-or-death work for them. Without the harvest there is no food. We don’t often think of the importance of simple work. The group gathered together here represents a mix of ages, men and women, and even physical ability. Each person plays their part according to the gifts and abilities that they have. The work they are performing is also balanced with the idea of God’s provision in this painting; for example, consider the pears scattered on the blanket compared to the wheat around them. Farmers have tilled and planted the land, tended the wheat as it grew, and these peasants are all harvesting. Yet the pear tree providing them the shade for their rest simply grows in the field, bearing fruit in it’s season, and the people are refreshed by fruit they neither planted nor toiled over.
In a similar way, God gives us work to do as a community, but also provision for us as a community. We may suppose we “make things happen” in the local church, but God has gone before us, God provides for us, and God gives the growth to the seeds of faith we plant in our communities. God supplies each one of us with one we need, so we can play our part in the work of the community. That’s what “church membership” seeks to encourage.
Anchor Passages:
This week our anchor passages are set up differently than usual. I have laid out the membership themes below with their corresponding scripture citations beside them for you to peruse.
Acting in Love toward others- Matthew 22:37-39
Refusing to gossip – Ephesians 4:29
Respecting and obeying leaders – Hebrews 13:15-17
Praying for the local church – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
Being a disciple who makes disciples – Matthew 28:19
Warmly welcoming all – Romans 15:7
Giving generously – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Discovering my gifts and talents – 1 Peter 4:10
Being equipped to serve – Ephesians 4:11-12
Developing a servant heart – Mark 9:35
Attending faithfully – Hebrews 10:24-25
Bearing the fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23
Refraining from the works of the flesh – Galatians 5:19-21
The Theme For Kids:
This kids video helps us understand what the “church” is and what it means to be part of the family of God in their town!

The Theme in Song:
This song is an expression of a desire that is often an ideal, but not the norm. As a community of followers of Jesus, this song can be a goal for all of us, even if we haven’t been the kind of church that loves people at their worst. Maybe you haven’t felt loved by the church in the past, maybe you haven’t been known by the people in your church. Let this song be a challenge to all of us to be vulnerable, to be open, to be loving, and trust God will continue to work through his church, imperfect as we may be. 


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