Good morning Avalon Church family,

Please know that I pray for you every morning. Some by name and specific need, as I am aware, but also for all the wonderful people who make up this local church called Avalon. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit is able to take my feeble prayers and properly present my requests before the throne of our great God.

However, as we give prayerful consideration this week to the Senior Pastor Candidate presented to us, I have been in what seems like constant dialogue with the Father, asking Him to help us have the mind of Christ as we pray about this important decision. While whole books could (and have) been written about what that could mean, three things have been presented to me that I would like to share with you, all simply reflections of the words and prayers of Jesus.

UNITY

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word [that would be us], that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

Jesus is not praying for uniformity, but unity. A football team is comprised of a multitude of diverse player positions – some run, some catch, others throw or block. When everyone does his job well, you have unity, even though no two are doing the same thing in the same way. And while not all may agree with a particular play that is being called, when they all step up to the line, they come together and execute with one mind.

LOVE

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have love you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:34-35)

It has been said that love, both love for Christ and for each other, is the glue that bonds the church in unity. When Paul writes, “their hearts having been knit together in love” (Colossians 2:2), he uses the same verb he employed in Ephesians 4:16 to describe how the “whole body [of Christ]” is joined and held together by every joint and ligament. That’s what love does, knit us together and hold us there.

PRAYER

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said….” (John 17:1)

After all the important words of John 13-16 had been spoken to the disciples, it was no longer time to talk with them, but to turn his full attention to the Father.

Unity – Love – Prayer. Thinking like Jesus to the glory of God.

Pastor Jim