Seven Mile Road, comes from this great story in Luke 24. Basically, two guys are walking seven miles to a village called Emmaus. They’re completely downcast because it had only been a few days since Jesus had been crucified. On the way, the Risen Christ appears to them but they don’t recognize Him. He’s right next to them but they’re completely blind to Him. Anyway, as they’re walking this road together, Jesus begins to show them the Scriptures and how it all points to Him. And as they’re hearing His words, their hearts are just burning with the truth. Finally they get to the village, Jesus breaks bread with them, and immediately, their eyes are opened. They get it! At once they run back to Jerusalem to tell others about who they had just seen.
We long for that to become the story of our church. Here’s why:
Confused. Afraid. Sad. Disappointed. Blind. Unbelieving. Those words describe the men in the story, but they describe us as well. We are broken, flawed, sinful people living in a broken, flawed, sinful world. And so at Seven Mile Road, we want to destroy pious pretenses. Instead, we want to humbly recognize that we are needy and have Jesus encounter us in the midst of our need. One of our huge hopes is to offer a safe community where people can be honest, transparent, broken, and repentant together.
Who appears on the road? Who unfolds the Scriptures? Who reveals truth? Whose words set their hearts ablaze? Who do they long to stay with? Who breaks the bread and opens their eyes? Read the seven mile road story and you see the whole thing is about Jesus. We want Seven Mile Road Church to be the same way. We want to be magnificently obsessed with Jesus Christ. And so as we’re journeying together, or studying Scripture, or wrestling with truth, or whatever we do, it’s all centered on Jesus. Seven Mile Road will be Jesus’ church, planted by Jesus, for Jesus.
We love the image of a road because the idea of people walking together and discovering the truth over a journey is hugely important. Walking with God, being transformed over a process, seeing life as a journey rather than a destination already arrived are all Biblical values that we embrace. Journey is one of the great Biblical metaphors, whether it is the salvation of sinners or the sanctification of saints. We long for unbelievers and believers, skeptics and seekers, the religious and irreligious to walk the same road and discover Christ along the way. None of us have arrived, but let’s walk this road together.
While walking on the road, Jesus unfolds the Scriptures. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament and shows the two disciples how all of it was about Him. The unfolding of Scripture is at the very heart of Seven Mile Road. We want to read the Bible, preach the Bible, sing the Bible, pray the Bible, believe the Bible, and live the Bible. And as we do, we want to see Jesus through it all. So whether we’re reading the story of Abraham, or the laws of Moses, or the prophecies of Daniel, or the letters of Paul, all of it will point us back to Jesus and His Gospel.
We love that it is two guys walking the road together, talking about life together, encountering Jesus together, wrestling with Scripture together, having their hearts stirred together, inviting Jesus to stay longer together, sharing a meal together, coming to faith together, and running back on mission together. Did you get all that? Together is a really important word for us, and that’s because community is really important to us. One of our hopes for Seven Mile Road is to become a people who are deeply connected, closely knit, following Christ together. We want to build a church where people are sharing life together, in each others homes, eating together, and encountering Christ through it all. We long to be a people who are following Jesus and doing so in community.
The two men describe something stirring, even burning in their hearts as they talked with Jesus. We long for people to respond that way a thousand times over at Seven Mile Road. Biblically, we’re convinced that apart from God opening our eyes, we are blind to spiritual truths. As people who are in different places in our spiritual journey, our prayer is that our eyes would be opened and our hearts set ablaze by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
After stumbling along this road in need, meeting Jesus along the way, hearing Scripture unfolded, breaking bread together, and having their hearts lit up by the truth of Christ, do you know what these men do? They go on mission! They run back seven miles to tell everyone they can about the One they had encountered; the One who had opened their eyes and captured their hearts. Seven Mile Road Church exists to do the same. We long to constantly be sprinting back to our culture and our city with the good news of Jesus. As those who have received the grace and mercy of God, our call is to extend that grace and mercy to others. Jesus’ Great Commandment
and Great Commission
frame our mission as servants of Philadelphia.