As we begin meeting on Sunday evenings a question that often arises, is why do we have the Sunday service or gathering? What’s the point? Why do we need to do that?
This is a valid question in the sense that we should always be intentional as to why we are doing the things we are doing, especially as God’s people. For Jesus Center Church, the primary reasons behind the Sunday gathering are twofold: Celebration and Reorientation.
From the beginning of the Jesus movement that started in first century Israel, Jesus followers found it necessary to gather on the first day of the week to celebrate their risen king. We find hints and stories of this happening throughout the pages of the New Testament. For them the resurrection story wasn’t something to trot out once a year, but something to be celebrated each week. Jesus is alive, he’s defeated death, victory is his, and because of this reality, our world is a different place - the kingdom of God is here and is coming. Jesus is making all things news - so we celebrate!
Each week, as the first wave of Jesus followers met, they intentionally took the time to remember and reorient themselves around Jesus’ death on the cross by gathering together to sing, pray and read Scripture. In addition, one of the main ways this reorientation was expressed was through the taking of the bread and the cup. This meal is the “new covenant” fulfilling and bringing the whole story of the Hebrew Bible and the story of Israel to its climax. Even though humans have royally messed up God’s good world and each other through sin, God does not abandon us. Paradoxically, Jesus’ death and resurrection was his enthronement and victory over the powers of sin and death. What does this mean for us and our world? Death and sin do not get the final world. King Jesus does. Jesus announced that God’s kingdom is here and is coming. He declares that he is making all things new.
- Jesus is restoring broken creation;
- Jesus is unifying the most unlikely of people around himself;
- Jesus is healing wounds and hurts;
- Jesus is setting people free from sin and shame;
- Jesus is inviting all to come to his table and kingdom.
As followers of King Jesus we are reminded and reoriented to this reality and truth and invited to participate in his kingdom each time we gather together to sing, pray, read Scripture and partake of the bread and cup.
In many ways, the Sunday gatherings of JCC are nothing new. There will be a few components that are fairly unique to a Sunday gathering like a time of question and response and the sharing of people’s stories every couple of weeks. But when it comes down to it, each Sunday we want to practice the ancient discipline of gathering together. Rejecting individualism, isolation and going our own way, we learn and practice The Way of Jesus and eagerly anticipate the things of the Spirit. We hope you can join us!