Family is important. We, the Church are a family. Reflecting on the graduation of his daughter from college, Rev. Gary Kennedy thought first about the many challenges in today’s world that these graduates face. Now, what is next for them? He then was reminded of watching these same students as they prayed before events, as they prayed for each other and as they prayed with each other for others.
He pointed out that these graduates are facing the world with prayer in their hearts and with prayer as a part of their lives. These graduates are empowered by the Holy Spirit and ready to face the world with Christ. After graduation, what’s next? These graduates are ready!
Last week, we looked at Peter’s message, “Repent and be baptized.” Afterwards we remembered our own baptism and renewed our baptism. Some were baptized for the first time. What’s next? Pastor Gary shared a little about a student-generated revival at Asbury. They spread a story across campus encouraging repentance. What comes next?
Look at Acts 2:41b-42. “. . . there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.” Three thousand people, some acquaintances and some strangers brought together as a family to start the first church. All at the same time they felt their hearts changed and they felt unconditional love for God and for each other. What did they do next? The did Bible study together. They were hungry for more. They broke bread together. They prayed with each other and for each other. They ministered to each other’s needs. They shared this love with others. They had true fellowship with each other because the Spirit of God was now in them.
When the Spirit of God is in us, He helps us in our relationships with each other. Only God can help us to be a community that loves others unconditionally. Unconditional love is a response to the Love of God. Referring to Revelation 2:2-5, Pastor Gary reminds us, “Don’t forget how special it was when the Church was first created and how special it was when we first repented and became part of the Church.