At the small group, we all spent a while just chit-chatting about ourselves - who we were, why we came to this area, why we came to this church, what our hobbies are, etc. Popcorn and tasty white cranberry juice was shared. Then we started sharing points that stood out to us in the sermon - ideas that surprised us, messages that challenged us, points that encouraged us, etc. In the midst of that discussion we shared personal struggles, lessons that we've learned, and encouragement from past "hills of difficulty." I felt completely comfortable in their company, even though I had just met two of them for the first time that evening. True Christians have such mercy and truth about them that it's easy to settle into their company.
I really enjoyed the time and am looking forward to this small group becoming a regular part of my week, Lord-willing.
From the sermon:
"Friends, members of this church, you realize that this church isn't mine. Aw, I'm gonna go to DC to this weekend, I'm gonna go to Mark Dever's church. I understand what you mean. You understand theologically, Biblically, this church is not mine. This church does not belong to the elders. It's not the elder's church. Dear congregation, it's not even your church. Aren't we congregationalists? Yes, we are, but that doesn't mean you own the church. The church may have responsibility from Scripture to make some final decisions, but even you, dear congregation, do not own this church. It is not your church. This church belongs to Jesus Christ. You see, it's Christ alone who has bought this church with His own blood. It is Jesus who owns this church."
Rev 1:12-16, 20c
"Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength....the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches."