Part 3 from brother Wehrheim…
After many songs, prayers and exhortations the brothers and sisters begin to share. One by one these ordinary people-who spend most of their day labouring away-begin to share with one another how they are coming to know the Lord. Through sweat, labor, housework, child-rearing, tent-making, planting, and harvesting they are labouring upon the Lord Jesus and they are reaping his riches. And now they have gathered together to share those riches with one another. Those who have just come to know the Lord share in the joy of the forgiveness of their sins. Those who are seasoned in the Lord take the body deeper into the “depths” of Christ. Men share. Women share. Young share. Old share. To see this all in action brings to mind the ancient prophecy of the seer Jeremiah, who said: “And no more will every man teach his neighbor saying, ‘Know the Lord’; for they shall ALL know me from the least of them to the greatest.”
The elders take time in between the sharing to present a teaching to the Body of Christ. Currently they are feasting upon the teaching of “Christ as the all-sufficient land”. Each of the elders are sharing how the promised land spoken of in the Law and Moses points to Jesus Christ. This especially tickles the heart of the few Jewish brethren in the gathering who are more familiar with the story and the Hebrew Scriptures. To the Gentiles it is all new, though just as exciting. But the elders do not hog the meeting. They simply offer their portion of Christ and then sit back while every member supplies something of the Lord-each in their own turn.
One woman shares a song she has written about her Lord. She has spent her week cleaning the house and caring for her children, so she wrote a song about how the Lord cares for his house-the Church. And how Abba cares for us as His children. It is a beautiful song and I dare you to listen to it without getting goosebumps. Another sister shares a poem she has written about her Lord. A brother shares a revelation that came to him while he was working in his field. All over the room brothers and sisters present to each other the best of the fulness of Jesus Christ. And as they give, it is given back to them. They will not leave the gathering feeling that they have lost something. They will leave having gained much of the Lord.
As they share a man named Felix, the cousin of a much-loved brother named Artemis, stands up. He is not a believer but has come to the last few meetings. With tears in his eyes he confesses before all in the room how He knows that Jesus Christ is present in and among this gathering. He confesses his sinfulness before them all and takes hold of the Lord Jesus and the work of His cross by faith. Waves of cleansing come over his soul, and as it does Philemon suggests they visit the local stream for a baptism! The whole assembly rises up and walks together as one man to the water’s edge, singing as they go. And there, upon the confession of his faith, Philemon baptizes Felix into Jesus Christ-into His body. Great shouts of joy erupt as Felix comes out of the water a new man-and a part of the Church-THE one new man! As they walk back they begin to scatter each to his own house! It doesn’t always happen-but it is always exciting when an unbeliever comes to Christ! Felix goes back to the house of Philemon, accompanied by a few of the brothers, for a time of much needed fellowship. The rest find their way home.
Oh, but don’t worry. Most of them will see each other tomorrow 🙂