Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The Born Anothen Church in Belvidere
There are three annual worship services that bring the born anothen Church – women and men of faith who shed the separations and distinctions that Jesus mocked who are gloriously antithetical/anathema to religious people in our increasingly divided nation fed by churches whose Biblically Christocentric allegiances and affections are skin/institutional deep and only coincidental to Him as betrayed in their penchant for talking with pride more about their denominations, pastors, and idols than Jesus Himself – in Belvidere together: the Good Friday service on the corner of Lincoln and Main, National Day of Prayer at the Community Building and Thunder Park, and “Heritage Days Community Patriotic Worship Service” at the Community Building.
The most recent patriotic worship service on 26 June 2016 modeled Someone better for Belvidere, Boone County, and maybe even…
Everything about and everyone involved in the service honored Jesus as the remnant Church of Belvidere and Boone County moved closer together.
Despite resistance from ___ (You fill in the blank!) who don’t like to mix God and country and don’t believe America has been especially and exceptionally blessed to praise Him and bless Him by loving inclusively as perfectly modeled in Jesus, feel spiritually superior or “more saved” than other parts of Christendom and don’t want to be tainted by worshiping with whatever they call us, and weren’t about to sacrifice a week’s income aka offering/collection to thank God for America and pray for America in these perilous times with “other” Christians, the Community Building was packed with people who shed such insulting nonsense to experience music, proclamation, prayer, peace, and unity that just may have signaled the born anothen Church in Belvidere.
Indeed, after a dozen years as an undershepherd on the corner of Lincoln and Main, I’m more excited and positively anticipatory about a fresh awakening and deepening of an identity among Christians in Belvidere that recognizes the Church’s integrity is measured by honoring the One who incarnated, lived, died, rose, and reigns to bring people together in, through, and for Him rather than enabling separations and divisions.
More than ever in my experience in Belvidere and Boone County, we have pastors who genuinely love each other and feel called to complement rather than compete with each other for souls.
More than ever, Belvidere and Boone County have been blessed with pastors who love Jesus by the book.
More than ever, Belvidere and Boone County have pastors who know previous separations and divisions are to be overcome not celebrated, accommodated, or enabled.
Jesus did not come to divide the Church.
He came to bring it together in, through, and for Him.
More then ever in my experience in Belvidere and Boone County, I felt that confirming call for the courage of Christian unity to look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus on June 26.
Join the Church!
You will be glad you did!
Your membership will make Belvidere, Boone County, and maybe even…better!
Let us pray together (This prayer is a summary of the prayer on June 26):
“Today, O God, we thank You, most of all, for the eternity available to all in heaven/paradise by grace through faith in Jesus.
Knowing we will spend a lot longer time with You than anybody else gives us strong calm sanity in the midst of every disappointment, disillusionment, disaster, storm, stress, and test.
We are trees planted by the water; and we are not moved to distraction but to greater devotion to You for Your presence and protection and recognizable sooner than later positive providence in our lives.
We thank You for everyone who has planned, prayed, participated, and surrendered this worship service to You.
We thank You for today’s messenger, Adam, who is a man of courage and passion and consistent salt, light, and leaven; and we are excited to hear Your Word today through him.
We thank you for churches that have surrendered income and overcome the kinds of denominational bias that Jesus mocked in Matthew 15, 23, and His high priestly prayer of John 17; and I pray today, O God, and forgive me if I am wrong or out of step with You, that every church and pastor who has risked revenue and lesser recognitions to the higher allegiance and affection and peace and unity and purity of being Church will be so extraordinarily, staggeringly, blessed by Your graces for their obedience that the brilliance will not be blinding to the selfish and arrogantly parochial and worldly but rather guiding to what You really meant when You lamented yet offered, “O Jerusalem, O America, O Belvidere, O nations, how often I would have gathered you together as a hen gathers her baby chicks…”
We thank You that as You will bless the remnant, those women and men of faith in America who still believe in You by the book, You will cause them to bless this nation and help reverse damning trends.
We thank You for courageous and faithful people in government and education and media and commerce and churches who are bold to speak for righteousness with a greater need to love than be liked…and who call evil evil and good and good and will not enable the darkness for political or personal gain and fame.
We thank You for people in America – like those in this community worship service – who are looking up and standing up and speaking up and acting up for Jesus.
We pray increased passion to seize every moment to say a good word for You that calls everyone back to You as the only source of personal serenity and eternal salvation.
Blessings and Love!
Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!