Sunday review: Since we had a lot of our members who were out of town on the youth ski trip and/or other spring break activities, I thought I’d share the important points and announcement we made yesterday at Waterview concerning the opportunities to respond to the invitation of Jesus.
We began our lesson with a textual overview Matt. 11:25-30. These verses serve as a contrast to those in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum who rejected Jesus (Matt. 11:20-24). Having set the background, we then considered three aspect of the invitation in Scripture. First, we considered the invitation to CHARACTER that is needed to respond to Jesus, which is childlike humility (Matt. 11:25). Second, we considered the invitation to CONNECTION with God, which is to understand that the only way to fully know God and come to him is through Jesus (Matt. 11:27). Third, we considered the invitation to COMFORT, which only Jesus can give when we agree to submit to his yoke (Matt. 11:28-30).
After this biblical discussion, we then considered the traditional approach we’ve taken to offering the invitation by inviting people to “come forward as we stand and sing” at the conclusion of most of our sermons. We noted this practice is an expedient method to give people an opportunity to respond publicly. This is something we plan to continue to do.
Finally, we introduced something new. Since it’s obvious that people don’t respond with the same frequency to the public invitation to “come forward” during the assembly, we announced that in addition to the opportunity to respond publicly, we are also going to have two of our shepherds stationed at the library for anyone who would prefer to respond, but in a less public manner. Each Sunday, two shepherds and I will be at the front during the invitation song, but also two additional shepherds will be near the library for anyone who might desire to meet with them.