When I was 7 years old, in the years before Sky Sports steaming live to our sunglasses, there was one opportunity to watch live football – the FA CUP Final! What a glorious day it was as my chosen team for the afternoon, West Ham United, defeated the mighty Fulham two nil. What joy, my team had won and so with no one around to advise me I decided West Ham would be my team. Nearly 40 years later I look back at season after season of the mighty Hammers clutching defeat from the jaws of victory. But I am still devoted, or am I?
I have not been to Upton Park in 38 years, the shirt I own was a gift, I could probably name half the team that started last Saturday and I only watch them on Match of the Day if they win! Yes West Ham are my team and for the half hour after I hear the latest result their fortunes might impact my mood. But devoted, I don’t think so.
Acts 2:42-47 says of the early church – they were devoted. They were devoted to the Word of God, to their local church community, to the centrality of the cross and to prayer.
Sometimes we might think of devotion as a statement or a decision. A moment in time when we sign up or say yes. If that were the case I would be devoted to my gym! This is not what Acts 2 is saying. The NASB translation of the passage translates it thus:
“They were continually devoting themselves to…”
I love this translation as it captures the ongoing activity of devotion. I am not devoted to Jubilee because my name is on the address list, I am devoted because I am committed to the ongoing life of the local church.
This September we are asking the question what it means to be devoted to Jubilee. Relationship with God has never been something worked out in the abstract, it has always been worked out in a community of faith.
Together through September we will be asking ourselves what it means to be devoted to the vision and the community of Jubilee Community Church. How will my devotion to this specific community of faith shape my life over the next 12 months and how will our corporate devotion shape our neighbourhood, our nation and the nations.
We would love you to join us throughout September as we examine our devotion levels together and discover more about the Father’s devotion towards us.
Simon Elliott (Lead Elder)