NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2015

Last Sunday was my birthday and it was a great birthday. I received over 500 Facebook birthday greetings! The Board, Staff, Mama Dorothy and others at Covenant gave me very generous birthday cards and gifts. I received a plethora of calls from my family; and my best friend took me to a very nice restaurant in Atlanta for a wonderful birthday dinner and later that evening to another restaurant for a fabulous dessert. It was a great birthday. For all of it I’m very grateful and I want to say thanks!

However, the two birthday gifts that I cherish the most was (1st) a giant birthday card that had been created by the children of Covenant in Children’s church that day; and (2nd) the scene in the Fellowship Hall of so many folks clamming to help pack 300 lunches that would feed 60 needy children in two Day Care Centers in Birmingham this past week. My heart was filled with joy as the pastor of Covenant to see so many volunteers eager to serve on that day that happen to be my birthday. It may not have been planned for my birthday, but for this pastor, it was indeed a great birthday gift!

I suppose the thing that made it so special for me, is that recently we’ve talked a lot about growing up in our spiritual lives and becoming mature in our faith journey. So much of what has been taught about this stems from the fact that the road to spiritual maturity runs through the avenues of “SERVICE.”

Two lines in the song “Dare You to Move” says,

Between who you are and who you could be

Between how it is and how it should be.

The assigned Lectionary text of Ephesians 4:1-16, for this Sunday, challenges us to move toward Spiritual Maturity in our faith journey. My paraphrasing of what the Apostle Paul is saying to us in this passage goes like this: “If between who you are and who you could be or between how it is and how it should be, is a tension in your life, I dare you to move. I dare you to move to the next level of spiritual growth in your life – to move from where you are now to where you could be on the road to both spiritual life and spiritual maturity.”

I remember the story of a little boy who fell out of bed in the middle of the night. When his mother rushed to the room to ask him what had happened he said, “Mommy, I don’t know. I guess I stayed too close to where I got in.” Far too many people do that in their spiritual life. They stay to close to where they came into the Christian faith. They do what they need to do to get into God’s family and become one of God’s children, but they never grow up.

Last Sunday, on my birthday, I saw a lot of folks from Covenant moving away from where they got in. They decided to shorten the gap between who they were and who they could be through service. It was an act of growing in spiritual maturity.

Join us at Covenant this Sunday as the sermon will help us to further shorten the gap between how it is in our lives and how it should be. The sermon title is about growing in spiritual maturity and is titled “ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!” based on Ephesians 4:1-16.

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