Daily Devotion Wednesday, July 17

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 – Psalm 5; 1 Samuel 20:1-23; Acts 12:18-25 and Mark 2:13-22

Mark 2:13-22 – 21“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a goal before it of starting 1,001 new worshipping communities over the next ten years. I give thanks for this goal for, for too long what we’ve done is close churches and not start new ones. We’re now working on starting new worshipping communities. The Presbytery I am a member of and serve within, John Calvin Presbytery, has a group meeting to look at how we can start some new worshipping communities. In visiting with Susan Rosenbaum, our Pastoral Presbyter, she’s shared how differently these new worshipping communities might look – no building, worship and study more out of homes and some of it done via the internet. These worshipping communities will look very different from the church I grew up in and the ones I’ve served. Oh, they’ll have our beliefs, our creeds, but maybe not the physical look.

Whenever I read this text from Mark (by the way it is contained also in Matthew 9:14-17 and Luke 5:33-39) I think of the church I serve, Community Presbyterian Church. We’re doing well ministering to people who are retired or are retiring. O we, receive some younger new members but the bulk of our work with those who are retired or are retiring.

Churches around us are doing new things in worship. I don’t think this would work in our setting. Some are doing a great job reaching out to youth. Our calling at least for now seems to be to “baby boomers”.

I can foresee a new Presbyterian worshipping community being started in or near Forsyth, so we as a denomination can reach out to the younger generations. This wouldn’t be in competition with us, but as a compliment of who we have been and are in inner city Forsyth and in the center of Taney County.

Just as our bodies need new cells so that we can live and thrive so Christ’s church needs new worshipping communities to carry on the vital work of Christ’s Good News with others.

Today, pray for new worshipping communities to spring up throughout the United States.

O Christ, may we hear today what you were saying to the people of your day and may we seek to work within our own houses of worship and pray for new ones to be begun. As your love has been shared with many in the past, may it be shared with many even today. Amen.

Psalm 5 – Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

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