03 Apr Good Friday to you all!
I pray you are blessed on this Good Friday. This is the day we consider the Cross, remembering the incredible sacrifice Jesus gave. I would love to invite each of you to join me, wherever you are, at 2pm & 6pm, to take a few moments to reflect on the Cross and just tell Him one more time, “Thank you for the gift of your life.”
As we look forward to Easter weekend, I would request that families with children please make plans to come early for check in. If possible, please come 15 minutes prior to the gathering time you attend. We are working diligently to make sure we can get everyone checked in quickly and securely. If you attend the 9am gathering, come early for Prayer! It starts at 8:20am, and is an incredible way to kick off the morning.
I also wanted to take a few moments to look back on Sunday’s teaching. As I promised, I have attached my notes to this email. But I also wanted to clarify some aspects of the teaching. I love our community and culture. I love that there is the quality of relationships that invite honesty. I have heard from a few of you this week that some aspects of the teaching were either confusing or unsettling. I am grateful for that honesty. The specific concern would be summed up in this statement, “It seemed like you were saying if we don’t have a secret place encounter in the morning, we are outside the Kingdom. Is that really what you meant to say?”
Many of you have heard me say one of my main goals as a leader is, “to stay out of the way,” in our culture. My hope and endeavor is to always allow the Holy Spirit control of our gatherings and our journey. Whenever I communicate in an unclear manner, I get in the way. For that, I apologize and ask forgiveness.
I would like to share what I was getting at in the Luke 13 passage. While it is a difficult saying, I genuinely believe Jesus is making a clear point about the absolute requirement of intimacy in the Kingdom. The statement of the Head of the House (13v25), “I do not know you,” is literally rendered, “where are you from.” It is a term that denotes a lack of prior knowledge. For me, it is a sobering reminder that intimacy with Jesus is not an add to our journey. It is our journey.
Now, about the, “did you say I have to have a morning encounter?,” question. Listening back through the teaching, I can see how it sounded like that. Please permit me to explain what I was attempting to say…
David will say, “early in the morning, my prayers will rise to you.” (Ps88:13) Jesus will model a regular pattern of disappearing in the early mornings. Daniel rises early for his first watch of the day. These examples give me an understanding that this is perhaps the dominant biblical pattern. My goal was to encourage us to align with that pattern. My challenge was that we be willing to align with it, because it is a biblically found idea. Do I believe we must pray early in the mornings or else? Absolutely not. That would violate the unique beauty of developing a secret place encounter with Jesus that is unique and proprietary to you. In addition to that, a doctrine of any works that is required, beyond the work of the Cross, is false. Paul is incredibly clear on this point in his teaching to the Galatian church.
So again, please forgive any confusion I may have caused. I will continue to work diligently to insure the sacredness of teaching is protected. I love our culture at Vintage, and it is an incredible honor to study the Scriptures with you. As always, I appreciate your feedback and I am always open to talk through the teachings. I love you all, and I am so excited to celebrate the Resurrection together at 9&11am!