Fellowship in Christ
By Pastor Craig Baxter
Have you ever watched a shepherd call his sheep to himself? It is not something we might expect to see in the suburbs of Melbourne. But if you did, what you will notice is that the closer the sheep come to the shepherd the closer the sheep are drawn to each other. What a beautiful picture this is of Christ’s church. As our community draws closer to the Good Shepherd, inevitably we will come closer to each other.
Our Fellowship Weekend proved to be one of those times when Christ’s people were drawn to each other both spiritually and physically. Not only did this occur through the many fun activities such as canoeing and coffee, board games and big swings, but also – most importantly – through the compelling and urgent preaching of Darren Middleton.
Through three messages Darren reminded us that we are united under the universal Lordship of Christ and are commissioned to carry out His universal mission, to bring everything under the submission of Christ. What does this mission translate to? It looks like disciples, followers of Jesus, who look like Him.
Darren also reminded us that only those who see the kingdom of God as treasure will be those who are faithful to the mission. This will look like a faith that takes risks, whether that be the risk of speaking into a culture that is hostile or ambivalent to the gospel or the risk of committing time and money to the cause of Christ. That is the kind of faith the Shepherd is pleased with. Every one of Christ’s people have been given their “bag of opportunities” (Matt 25:14-30). The question is, will we be faithful to use those for the kingdom?
Lastly, Darren encouraged us not to have a disordered love, that takes God’s blessings and distorts them for selfish gain. Rather, may each one of us have a clear, selfless love for Christ that will draw us ever closer to each other and leave behind a legacy of gospel generosity that translates into disciples who love Jesus and look like Him.
When we do this, Christ’s commission and HBC’s vision to “make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus Christ” will continue to take shape for the glory of God.
If you were not able to attend the Fellowship Weekend and hear the messages, please make time to watch them at the following links: