Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the Listening Year

Sept 11

Readings: Revelation 1 and 2

We made it. Bridgepointe had its first worship gathering on Sunday, September 9.

I realize that a church is not defined by its worship gatherings and that we are called to that and more but there was something about creating space that lifted all of our spirits. We’re excited about moving into what God has for us.

So what is it that God has for us? Well the first thing that he has for us is a year of listening. We’re looking at the first part of Revelations where Jesus has letters for seven churches, and the refrain that is repeated at the end of each letter is this: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit of God is saying to the churches.” We believe that this applies not only to the ancient churches but also to us, in the present day. And if we as Bridgepointe actually want to be who God is calling us to be and not whatever we like and think will work we need to invest time and effort in learning how to listen and obey what the spirit of God is saying to the churches.

Now, practically, what does this look like? The first thing you might notice is that our service or liturgy is flipped slightly onto its head. After a gathering and call to worship, we move first into a time of opening the Bible and teaching, allowing God to speak through his word. Out of this we ask a couple of questions as we move into a time of musical worship and response. In this time we create space where people can speak what the Lord is placing on their hearts. Also we have started a blog at Bridgepointe.ca where people can discuss online the questions that came up in the past week and where God is taking us. It will also have the Bible reading for the next week we can begin to prepare our hearts.

This past week we looked at the letter to the church at Ephesus from Revelation. It amazed me how this church that was started by Paul with twelve other people, had changed the face of Ephesus in a short time and it was said in Acts 19 that word of God grew mightily and prevailed there; and yet by the time Revelation was written, Jesus was telling them that they had forgotten their first love. In less than a half century they had gone from a group of people that had changed the face of their city and their region, to a group of people that, while faithful, were bored, distracted, and stagnant.

Sound familiar?

It’s amazing how in the busyness of being Christian and doing Christian thing we can forget about the love of Jesus that brought us to that point in the beginning.

Jesus said “Remember your first love, and do the deeds you did at first” Whoever has ears to hear.

What is the first love we need to remember? What are the deeds we did at first?

Remember when I asked you all to pray about Bellvue Community Hall? Well I got a call on Saturday afternoon from the director of the centre and he said that they would be happy to have us. It’s funny how God works. I don’t think that had we had a location in line that we would have been brought to the idea of the Listening Year. Regardless, thanks for your prayers. They were answered.

We’re listening publicly, so any all are welcome to join us next Sunday at Highland Baptist Church at 5347 112 Ave on Sunday at 6:30 pm.



Sunday, September 9, 2007