Last Sunday Calvary’s congregation spent worship thinking about what committing your life to a community of faith might mean. There were some powerful shared thoughts from members and a shared litany that spoke of our significant recommitment as the church year begins again. I know this kind of commitment is a lot to ask from folks, especially when our lives are so busy and chaotic. But, I have to wonder how the absence of this community of faith would impact each of our lives . . . seems to me that this steep commitment is the least we can do for the holy honor and opportunity of experiencing God in this place:
Calvary Baptist Church, just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.
Many are the gifts of God given to us and we are grateful: God’s love to energize us, the grace of Jesus Christ to redeem us, God’s Spirit to lead us to courageous witness, and a shared life to sustain us.
Calvary Baptist Church, in faithful response to the call of God in this time and place, put off the old nature with its practices and put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of God who called you out of darkness into God’s light.
Great is the message we seek to live and proclaim to the world: We reject the powers of this world that separate us from the love and healing of God. We accept, instead, the freedom and power that God gives to claim redemption and peace. We put our whole trust in the grace of Jesus Christ and claim the healing offered through relationship with Jesus Christ.
Calvary Baptist Church, not that we have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but together we press on. Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, we press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Holy is the commitment to which we have been called. In the year ahead we will:
- carefully listen for the voice of God for our lives and for this community
- diligently seek to practice our faith and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ
- generously offer our lives and our possessions as faithful stewards of all God has given us
- tenaciously seek peace and honor our differences with love for each other
- courageously respond to the leadership of God’s Spirit, even when we cannot see what the future will bring
Calvary Baptist Church, do you recommit yourselves to the work of God in this place for the year ahead?
With God’s help, we do.