14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)
If the book of Ephesians can be summarized by one title it might be, "The Glory of God in the Church." Ephesians teaches us many things but perhaps the most important is the love the Father has for the church. That love is expressed in so many ways and we got to see that on display last Sunday.
What a beautiful sign of God's grace as Alex and Brooke Alvarez were baptized. Baptisms are always sweet, but when a dad and his daughter are baptized together it makes it that much sweeter.
We should always be encouraged and give God praise for how he draws our young people to himself. To know that Brooke gave some of the elders a testimony of the Lord's saving work in her life is something we should all cherish.
Then to baptize Alex, a dear brother in Christ, was yet another expression of God's grace on both Alex and his family as well as on our church. These are moments for which we should praise God and ask in prayer that he would continue to draw people to himself. Cross Creek has been a sweet instrument God has used and we pray that he continues to do so.
We then received communicant members and new members to our church. I have seen many of our kids grow over the last five years. To see them now express their faith and trust in Christ and be admitted to the Table is one of the most incredible privileges a pastor and church can have. And yet, God further graced us with new members. Over my time at Cross Creek people come and go; it's the nature of ministry. God is always faithful in bringing new people to our church. Our responsibility is to be receptive and aware of new people so that they are welcomed well.
Please pray for Keith as he preaches this Sunday. We will again engage in the sacrament of baptism and receive communing members. I can't wait to worship with you.