You might recall that back in February, I preached a sermon series called “Paul’s Prayers for the Church.” Each week I highlighted the prayers that Paul offered for the early church, and how my prayers for First Presbyterian Church echoed those prayers.
Among Paul’s prayers are these words from Ephesians, “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.”
The heart of Paul’s prayer for the church is that they might know God, the very God who became a human in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul is convinced that God longs to be known. But coming to know God doesn’t happen by us sitting around doing nothing; it requires something of us.
It requires us to grow.
Think about a tree. Logically we know that a tree does not grow overnight. It takes years upon years to become mature. Its roots must go deep, so that they can find the moisture and the nutrients needed to not only survive, but to thrive.
That’s something of what it means for us to grow in faith. We must sink our roots into the rich soil that is the Word of God and relationship with God. In doing so, we find the very things we need for this life.
And so, as we prepare to launch a new program year, I continue to pray that we might find new ways to grow in faith, to engage in relationship with God. I pray that we would grow as individuals, and as a church. That we would sink our roots deep and that we might come to know God in deeper and greater ways.
There will be a variety of opportunities to do just that this Fall. Some things will be familiar, as we build upon many of the great traditions of this church community. Other ideas will be new, and maybe feel a little uncomfortable. But it is my hope and prayer that every event, or program, or study that we offer, will in some way help us to grow in faith and to grow in community.
I hope you’ll join us for worship on Sunday to hear more about what’s happening this fall.
And as we continue in our current series, “RSVP: Stories of Invitation,” I hope you will take my challenge seriously. Invite a friend. Invite them on Sunday. Invite them to a Bible study. Invite them to a movie night. It can be anything, just invite.
Because the doors are open, and all are welcome to come and grow!