I pray that everyone is doing well during this pandemic crisis. It definitely has caused many of us to do a lot of thinking how we live our lives. Who would have thought that schools would be shut down for months, that businesses would close down, that restaurants would be closed to sit down eating, that we would have to stay 6 feet away from each other, that when you went to the grocery store you’d find shelves bare. This is when you start to become creative in how you live.

This is also a time when we in the church have gotten creative in how we worship. Not that we do music different, preach the Word different, but how we gather for worship. During this time we are having to move from the building to online. Move from seeing each other physically to seeing each other virtually. We’re having to “Think Outside the Box.” This concept isn’t anything that is new. We’ve been talking about it for years. We’ve had conferences on it. We’ve been telling people to think outside the box. However, even all of our talking about it is not new. I know that the experts will tell you that “Thinking outside the box” is something that is new, but Jesus thought outside the box. Let me share with you something that Pastor Watts, our Pastor Emeritus sent me just the other day:

“In the book of Luke, chapter 4, Jesus went to His home synagogue in Nazareth.  He had been teaching in some of the other synagogues after returning from His adventure with Satan in the wilderness but He now returned to the synagogue in His home town – the town where He had spent His childhood.  He had been well received in the other synagogues.  Now He is given the opportunity to teach in His home synagogue.  He reads from the book of Isaiah.

At first, He is well received but as He goes on in His teaching, He zeroes in on Nazareth and uses Elijah and Elisha as examples.  When He uses Elisha healing Naaman, a Syrian, of leprosy and not any of the other Jewish folk living near Elisha and likens that example to the belief in Nazareth, the people in His home synagogue become enraged and kick Him out of the synagogue and the city!

Understand, after Jesus is removed from the synagogue, the synagogue continued.  They continued with their regular services.  They followed the regular rituals required by their rabbis.  Their social lives and the routines they were used to went on as usual.

What did Jesus do, after He was removed from His own synagogue?

This was at the beginning of His ministry.  He continued on with His teaching – many times out on the hillside – sometimes from a boat – and people were set free as they received His teaching.  There were those who were physically blind who received their sight.  There were those who were deaf who could now hear.  Lepers were healed.  Even the dead were raised back to life.  Miracle after miracle and wonderful teaching took place outside of His home synagogue.

The reality is that His Jewish culture and religiosity couldn’t contain Him.  This may shock some, but neither can the religion of Christianity!  Jesus Christ is bigger than any Religion, including the religions that claim His Name! 

If you want His presence in your life, you have to get out of man’s boxes (synagogues).  Some of our routines are good.  Some of our rituals are good.  Some of our culture is helpful, but if that is all it is, we get into a spiritual rut that hinders the Presence of Jesus in our lives.  He is bigger than all of that.  The walls of His own religion couldn’t keep Him boxed in.  They kicked Him out.

He went outside the box and the miracles kept happening, and the teaching was heavenly, and the blessings kept flowing. 

Maybe the Lord is calling us outside of the box.  We have the opportunity to go with Him into the unknown, trusting, believing, participating with Him in a fresh new adventure of Him.

The blessings He has for us are too big.  They can’t be contained inside our boxes.

Stretch yourself today!  Do something outside the ordinary.

We’ve never been here before.  Take advantage of it.  By the power of God in your life, do something outside the box and watch for His blessing.”

As we continue to go through these changes in our lives, let me encourage you to look to the Lord and remember that He thought outside the box. One way to think outside the box is with your relationship with Him, do you have one? Is He the Lord of your life? If not, why not open your heart and invite Him in today. Stay well, and stay healthy.

If you’d like to join us in worship, we’re Live Streaming at https://www.facebook.com/CW-Church-241232392703638/?ref=bookmarks each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. After the “Stay at Home” order is lifted and life is getting back to normal, we’d love to have you join our worship experience at the church. Hope to see you back here as well. Please take some time to look at some of the other messages and posts here on the website. Love y’all and praying for each of you.

Pastor Rob

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