Last week on Sunday 10/9/22, believers from different churches, denominations, ethnic backgrounds, and generations, gathered together at the Mashpee Commons Village Green for a time of united worship and prayer.
The gathering started with pastor Mac Smith of Bay Community Alliance Church in Bourne welcoming the people present and opening in prayer, followed by an extended time of anointed worship by worship pastor Rob Cumming, Andrew Taylor of the Great Awakening Coffee House and worship leader Lisa Hodges of New Life Christian Center in Dennisport.
Pastor Adam Miller of South Chatham Community Church , shared a powerful exhortation about seeking first the Kingdom of God:
Jesus tells Peter, following his confession of faith, "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" Matthew 16:18-19.
This statement follows a much broader context where Jesus has just concluded a number of lessons regarding bread. First, Jesus feeds the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:13-21). Then Jesus encounters a Cannanite woman asking for the crumbs off Jesus' table (Matthew 15:21-29). Next, Jesus feeds the four thousand (Matthew 15:32:39). Finally, Jesus warns the disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees (Matthew 16:5-12). The disciples missed the point, but it should be clear to us in hindsight.
Jesus is teaching one of the "Keys to the Kingdom." It is found in Jesus' earlier teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. First, Jesus teaches us to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Then Jesus shows us how to bring our requests before God, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). This is followed up with Jesus teaching, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).
The accounts of the stories and events in Matthew 14-16 is Jesus giving a live metaphor of what it really looks like when people seek first the Kingdom of God. In an agrarian society, where people rely on making their own bread every single day or else go hungry, the people chose to give up their food in order to hear Jesus teach.
All of these stories carry a resounding theme, when we put Christ first in our lives and sacrifice our comforts for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, we will see God's hand of provision. More than that, we will see His Kingdom come on Earth, even as it is in heaven, when we live on mission. The gates of Hell itself, will not be able to prevail against it.
This was followed by a time of pastors leading in prayer in reponse to Adam's word. This time was mingled with worship songs and was facilitated by pastor Mike Allen of Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Sandwich.
This was followed by a time of small group prayer where the prayer theme was to seeking first the Kingdom of God.
We then closed us in a worship song and a prayer.
It was a wonderful evening with beautiful weather and a sweet sennse of the presence of God throughout the gathering.
We will not have multichurch worship and prayer gatherings in November and December due to the busy holiday season.
Our next gathering with be in January, God willing. Stay tuned!