It’s been a busy week here in the studio. This Sunday-tomorrow-is charge conference for our church. What that is is when all the Methodist Churches in a certain area come together to give their yearly reports to the District Superintendent. This year I was asked to do a drawing that went along with Acts 1:8. I can’t be there to do it in person so I made a poster of it for our church to use. I started out with a simple line drawing ( above) and then I did a color drawing on this black paper( below). As you look at the drawings you see that Jesus is the door to the church. John 14:6 says-“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I believe that we cannot get to the Father except through having a loving, compassionate, truthful, grace filled relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ. Why do I believe that? Because the Word of God states it and it is something I feel deep in my soul. Scripture backs up scripture. This is why it is important to read your bible and study God’s Word!
So, you see Jesus at the center of the drawing, as the door. He is inviting everyone in and there are roads leading in and out of the doorway. These roads go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. They wrap around the earth. There are tiny footsteps on these roads ( hard to see here) showing how we, the witnesses, go in and out of the church. What are we doing? Well, we are doing the mission work that Jesus has commanded us to do in Matthew 28:19!
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
These were the last words of Jesus on earth.
Our church is large for this area, but small in comparison to the church at large. ( the whole world) We are always coming and going-being the hands and feet of Christ outside the doors of the church as well inside. The building itself is our “headquarters” and Jesus is the “Commander.” We pray, we seek His will and way and then we go out and do! We cannot do these things alone and it takes many people to be on the team and doing the work. Some are called to be close to home-in Hillsville. An example of that would be working with Open Table-they cook and deliver 400 meals to shut-ins and the needy every week. This is an awesome ministry that requires much prayer, much commitment and many hands and feet to do the work. Most of the work we do is done right here at home. This mission field has many devoted and committed workers in it.
Then there are people who are called to work in Judea, which would be nationally. An example of this would be providing cleaning buckets for flood victims. We purchase, pack and ship buckets with cleaning supplies to flood victims. We have also done food buckets, health kits and school kits. Certain people are called to be a part of this vital ministry that brings hope to the suffering. It takes all hands to fill these buckets with love. It takes prayer, devotion and commitment.
The next area is Samaria. This is where we don’t want to go-places that makes us uncomfortable. One of those ministries is our motorcycle ministry. We gather to ride and fellowship and when we do this we are taking the love of Christ out of the church on two, sometimes very loud, wheels, with leather jackets, tattoos and a little bit of free spirit! This ministry definitely takes you out of your comfort zone and it requires certain people to do it. Not all are called to ride a motorcycle!
The last area is “to the ends of the earth.” This is where we are really out of our comfort zone-working internationally with people in other countries. Being out of our safety net of the USA, our church, our family and friends. This area requires yet another set of people who feel led to serve in this way. God has given each of us a specific set of plans. Your plan won’t work for me and mine won’t work for you. We must listen for His voice, pray and seek His will. This ministry includes mission trips to Mexico, Slovakia, Sudan, Nicaragua. Not all are called to go do this work- but those who are need our prayers and support.
Together, as Hillsville First United Methodist Church, we all do this work in one way or another. God has built His team of workers for Acts 1:8. I am so blessed to be a part of this congregation, and to be able to do some of these things, together, with the team of God, has transformed my life. God has worked through each of you to mold me and change me into His image! Thank you First Church! I love you all!
Well done good and faithful servants! Well done!