A couple of weeks ago I preached at Christ the King Presbyterian Church downtown Raleigh. I was assigned Exodus 26. Go ahead and read it. Try to get through it without yawning. If you want to hear the sermon, check it out here (scroll down to the title “He Tabernacled Among Us”). In Exodus 26, God gives Moses the technical and mathematical instructions to make the tabernacle. After spending a significant amount of time focusing on the tabernacle itself, we concluded the sermon focusing on how the Holy Spirit has tabernacled himself into the church.
Among other things, I said this:
A missiologist from the 60’s named Gibson Winters once said, “An introverted church is an apostate body, for it denies the essential quality of Church- the testimony of reconciliation in the world.”
If we are the Body of Jesus and tabernacled by the Holy Spirit, than we do so with the testimony of reconciliation. That is the primary reason why we went into church planting. Church planting is so important because it continues to prove to be the most effective method of evangelism. Even within the culture of the Bible Belt, there are those who need to hear the testimony of reconciliation by those following the Resurrected Mercy Seat. I am thrilled to experience how Christ the King [Church] is fulfilling this mission. God is using this congregation to live, speak, and serve as the very presence of Christ in downtown Raleigh. Christ the King has places to go, people to meet, lives to save, justice to act, prisoners to free, and people to disciple. You are the very presence of Christ because you have been tabernacled. You follow the very presence of Christ because he is alive and well. Eugune Peterson translates John 1:14 this way: The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. You’ve moved, and the Spirit continues to move you as you follow the Resurrected Mercy Seat.
Christ the King has emphasized how important it is for their members to be the real presence of Christ in their neighborhood.
This is a round about way to say that we have moved into our neighborhood. We have moved into the middle of southwest Wake County into a home just off a major thoroughfare with easy access for people from Holly Springs, Apex, Cary, Raleigh, and Fuquay-Varina. We were hoping God would open the door for us to move into this location. It took some time, patience, and prayer. We are thrilled with finally being able to be physically present into the area we feel called. We move believing that the Lord has called us as ambassadors of the Word in flesh and blood in our new neighborhood. The past month has been a bit confusing, disorientating, and busy, busy, busy. We loved where we lived. It served us well as we set up shop in North Carolina. But now we have moved into the neighborhood.
Remember, when you are in the neighborhood, please stop by and stay a while!