The Lord Jesus was questioned about which is the most important commandment. The people listening expected him to quote one of the Ten Commandments. But Jesus answered quoting a passage from the Bible (the Old Testament) and in doing so he summarised all of the commandments. This is what Jesus said:
“The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark chapter 12, verses 29-31)
Jesus said, love God, love one another. We're love God with our whole being - with heart, soul, mind and strength. And the way to love others Jesus says is to love them as yourself - to put them as important as we count ourselves in our lives.
It's a radical love. As a Church, we gather together to love God by what is called worship. This simply means to give to God the 'worth'- the worth-ship that he deserves. That means telling him we love him and retelling the things he has done for us. Churches use music and lyrics to do this - through hymns and songs. This isn't a new thing but has been going on for thousands of years. Before the time of Jesus, God's people gathered in the temple singing psalms. Here at Christ Church, when we gather to worship we place quite an emphasis on singing to God. Through singing we can, all together, tell him we love him and thank him for the things he has done for us.
Our singing is sometimes accompanied by the organ, choir, or with the lead of the music group. Although we want to enjoy singing, the style in the end doesn't really matter. It's not our preferences that matter - it's what we're singing that matters. Worship comes from the heart and God delights in our praise to him.
Our singing isn't the only way we declare our love to God. We do this in other parts of our worship gatherings too. We call the words we have in the service, the 'liturgy.' Sometimes we say words all together, at other times the minister leading the service will say them. the liturgy gives shape to a service. It reminds us of who we are. A service usually starts with a greeting reminding us that we gather in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Next we go into a time of saying sorry to God for the things we do wrong. We hear a reminder of this of forgiveness next. Hearing the Word of God from the Bible has a central place in the service, after which is it explained by the minister, after which we declare together our beliefs using one of the three historic catholic creeds. having declared our belied in him we then pray to God the Father, through the Son. After this, when the service is a service of Holy Communion, we come and participate in the special supper that Jesus commanded us to continue - the Lord's Supper. We eat a small piece of bread and drink a small amount of wine, to remember his death - a death which brings us life if we receive his forgiveness.
As part of our worship, we give to God our monetary gifts, as an expression of our love for him. Often called the 'collection' or the 'offertory,' this is a time in the service when we place on the collection plate cash, or a cheque or an envelope with those inside. There are other ways to give than just by the collection plate at a service. It is possible to give by online giving, bank transfer and by text message.
As an overflow of our love to God, we will want to love one another. As a Church family we can do this together as a group of people (as 'Church') and individually in our personal lives with those we meet. As a Church, we serve the local community. We welcome people into our family and into our church family home.
We have several ways at Christ Church we are seeking to love the local community together as a church family:
*more information to follow soon*
- Meadows Coffee Shop
- Meadows Pantry
- Father's House
- Mothers' Union
- Support those in grief