I want to greet you on this Lord’s Day in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
When we say that we have gathered together today, let us not suppose that what is meant is we have wandered, meandered, staggered, or strolled into the same building and suddenly find ourselves looking and acting like a church.
We are reminded each Lord’s Day that it is God who calls us and gathers us as His people. Jesus gives us a picture of what this looks like in the Gospel of John chapter 10.
We are gathered as the church today because the Lord has called us by name. Here are black sheep, white sheep, strong sheep, sick sheep, fluffy sheep and scraggly sheep. But we all have one thing in common: we are known and loved by the Good Shepherd. He has laid down His life for us. He speaks our name with great affection and we have been given ears for Him alone.
The Lord has also led us out from the sheep pen and into His own great flock, the Church. Think of the many things in your own life that held you captive and under the watchful eye of one who desires to steal, kill, and destroy. The Lord has victoriously led us out of pride, ignorance, selfishness, materialism, lust, idolatry, and unbelief. He has rescued us from the slaughterhouse and leads us out into the green pastures of His kingdom.
Isaiah 55 proclaims, “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. And how shall we today respond to that Word?
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” AMEN!