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I dont know if you watched the first part of the new documentary series on Monday evenings upon the

royal military academy at sandhurst. In it, we see new recruits exhausting themselves on various arduous route marches around what I am sure is the brecon beacons in wales. During one particularly gruelling trek, the observing staff officer notes a straggler and says that even being seperated from the main group by 100 metres seriously reduces his chances of completing the course. All therefore comes down to mutual support of the team. All comes down to staying close to the leader. Yet there is worse situation than just being seperated from the team. And that is to be in a team that is divided against itself. Since it stands to reason that a group that has no agreed plan cannot help each other on the route. In fact, how can they ever expect to reach their destination. Well, that was exactly the Israelites problem. They had bickered amongst themselves since they left egypt. It was food and now it is water. Needless to say, they were right to be concerned about having water in a desert. Yet they had no common plan as to how to get it. In fact, they had no faith that as a group they would get it. As a result, they were each wandering away in all sorts of differing directions from their leader who was not really Moses but God himself. Pual on the other hand knew the problems with divisions, with disputes and with straggling behind God. That was why he makes this particular point in his letter the Philippian Church. For here was probably a small vulnerable christian team toiling to survive. Pual therefore knew that divided they would soon be scattered and then they would individually fall away. And so he starts by asking them always to struggle for unity. That meant to work without rest to finding what God wanted them mutually to do. He wanted them to labour tirelessly to discover what

God wanted them to achieve together. Indeed he wanted them to exert themselves without sparing to bring in the common harvest. However, Paul also knew that achieving a groups common agreement on direction and purpose was not going to be easy. Thats why he goes on to offer the Philippians specific advice on how to achieve their essential unity of mind, body and spirit. For pleads with them to be like Christ in their treatment of each other. That means, they would be required to listen to each other, they would need everyone to be open minded and would need each to be gracious. Pual extols them to have the humility of Christ to give real thought to someone elses view. Moreover, Paul commands them to be truly Christ like by drinking deep of the living water; the living water of service to each other, the living water of commitment to each other and even the of bearing the cross for each other. Well today, we will be making some pretty big decisions about St Lukes future. We too then need to heed the sage wisdom of Paul. We too must find together Gods plan for our church family. And therefore, in truth, we too must be Christ-like in our deliberations if are to have genuine unity in direction and purpose. That all sounds like hard work. And it probably will be. Are we promised success let me tell you a story.. A little boy was standing on the pavement in the middle of dundee one day. He was obviously waiting for something. An older man approached him and asked for what he was waiting. The little boy confidently told the man that he was waiting for the bus. The man laughed and said the bus stop was over 200 yards away. The boy acknowledged that fact but insisted the bus would stop for him right here.

The man became annoyed at what he thought was insolence. He raised his voice and told the little boy that he'd better start walking if he hoped to get on that bus. The boy politely turned down the suggestion and said he would wait for the bus right where he stood. The man fumed at the little boy and started walking off. But before he was too far away, he heard the screeching of brakes. He turned around and couldn't believe his eyes. The bus was actually stopping for the little boy. The bus door opened and the boy started climb aboard. But just before he did, he turned toward the man down the street and yelled, " My daddy is the bus driver." Here then is how we will discover together Gods plan for St Lukes in the future. Here is how we will mutually be rewarded with a greater harvest in the years ahead. Here indeed is how we will constantly source our renewing community life. Since all we need do is stay close to the support, strength and encouragement of our master. All we need do is to drink deep of the waters from the rock of our saviour. All we need do is to remember one thing - his daddy is the bus driver! Amen HYMN............