Hebrews 13: 7
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
1 Tim 5: 17
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
2 Thessalonians 2: 7-8
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
2 Corinthians 9: 7-8
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
This Sunday morning we will be celebrating and commissioning the Scott family as they prepare for their new assignment and adventure in the United States. We will give thanks to God for all that He has done through this wonderful family during their time among us, how they have impacted our lives in so many ways, and how their vision of what Kingdom community can look like has changed the very expression of church in our land and far beyond. We will pray for them, that the favour and blessing of God which so evidently rests upon their lives would only increase in this next season and that the Holy Spirit would empower them in even greater measure for the mission and mandate He has prepared for them.
However, as well as honouring them with our words and prayers, we want to send Alan, Kathryn, Sophie and Emily out from Causeway Coast Vineyard with a tangible expression of our appreciation. We are a community that is increasingly known for breath-taking, radical generosity with our finances. This Sunday is another important opportunity to practice what we believe to be core Kingdom principles: honour and generosity.
Honour is a word which is used often, but seldom fully understood. In Biblical terms, the root of the word ‘honour’ is used to describe something which is heavy or weighty. It comes from the time when people used to weigh shekels (coins) to determine their value. The heavier the coin, the more value it had. And so it is with honour - the more you put value on something or someone, the more weight they have in your life.
So honour is fundamentally about the value of something or someone, how highly we esteem someone, the worth they have, how precious something is.
The only one of the ten commandments given by God with a promise was:
“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20: 12)
I believe that this not command not only applies to natural parents, but also to those who have poured out their lives and sacrificed so much as our spiritual parents. As so, as we seek to truly honour the Scott family this Sunday, let us not underestimate the spiritual significance of such an act. Honour is the protocol of heaven and I have seen first-hand, time and time again, how honour releases God’s favour into our lives. Honour is not a practice we are forced to do, it is a privilege we are invited to participate in.
Russell Evans makes this pretty bold statement:
“All through the Bible, the value of honour is the essence of the kingdom of God. In fact, I believe that honour is the foundational truth of the kingdom. Everything revolves around this topic of honour. Everything happens because of honour.”
So as we prepare for this Sunday morning’s celebration and commission, let’s do so prayerfully. This is not an ordinary morning. It is deeply significant for us as a church family. Take time to consider how you want to bless and honour the Scott family as they leave. I know that I want them to depart feeling overwhelmed and deeply honoured by the incredible generosity we have lavished upon them. I know you will too.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday for the celebration and commissioning of the Scott family at 9.30 am and 11.30 am. We will also have our regular Sunday evening service at 7.00 pm.