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    04.01.22 | The Shepherd's Voice | by Sam Maconachy

    No one is a better teacher than Jesus. No person can preach or teach a better message than His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The truth that He speaks is with authority and power and enacts true change in how any person seeking to follow Him lives. 

    As a church community, we seek divine authority and not human wisdom. We have more than the latter to go around these days. Never before has there existed such access. Self-help books still dominate the charts. Podcasts promise a better use of your time and mind. The internet is bottomless. And if we are to be a church that offers human wisdom? We face a lot of competition in an already too-crowded division. So why? Why go to church or Bible study instead of subscribing to a Youtube channel? Why drag our weary selves every Sunday morning instead of taking our time off, peruse our favorited news sources, and just let live?

    Getting up and gathering together as the body of Christ weekly is the invitation to hear from the divine King. His good news and counsel for our lives. Yes, God speaks to us in our private moments with our Bibles. But there’s so much more God wants for us and indeed gives.

    We hear from the Lord Himself together in our weekly gathering. We’re shaped together. Centering our time together around God’s Word creates, cultivates, and commissions us to be a distinct people, set apart, to be salt and light in our separate spaces outside of the worship space. 

    Fixing ourselves together in God’s Word is not just about education. It’s formation. Even better, transformation. I suppose we could move strictly to video, podcasts, or even just newsletters and cut out the worship service and Bible study altogether. If mere transmission of information were the goal, we could do exactly that. But far be from us to do so. Christ speaks not to transmit, but to transform. Hearing the Word being proclaimed and taught in the flesh isn’t just about us and our personal walk with Jesus. Christ established and fixed you into His body (aka the Church via Baptism) to bring and shape you to be in a culture and space where heaven and earth collide. Life happens together here.

    As we learn from the Lord, we bring to life the Word of God in how we treat one another. Hearing and being taught the King of heaven’s words, we receive the gifts of His Kingdom – faith, hope, and love. These are the gifts that not only help us to receive and retain God’s Word, but also reenact it for ourselves, each other, and our wider community here in Naples, FL. It starts with God bringing you here, Him drawing us together in one accord, and finally sending us out having received, retained, and giving the power to reenact His living Word.

    Learning together in Christ,

    Pastor Sam

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