This last Sunday, I finished my sermon series by doing the entire worship service in reverse order.
Why would we do the entire service backwards? For starters, it keeps people guessing. But it is an image of what we are as Christians. Compared to the society at large, the things we do are backwards, they are opposing.
There is no getting around this truth. Christians don’t act, speak or think like non-Christians. Consider some of the things we see form people in the Church;
Why would people invest every Sunday morning into teaching? Why would so many volunteers invest their Wednesday nights to kidZone, their weekends and vacation times to youth group trips, their afternoon cooking for college students, their evening spent in committee work, their early mornings at prayer meetings? Why would people invest their extra money to projects that may or may not directly benefit them? Why would they invest so much thought and energy into the larger body of believers?
When writing about the men and women of faith down throughout history, the writer of Hebrews wrote;
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. ~Hebrews 11:13-16
Do you want to get excited about something? Expand your view. Increase your horizon. Enlarge your calling and mission to something greater than yourself. The reason why people give until it hurts, spend energy until there is no more and continue to give week after week, year after year and decade after decade is because they are looking for a better place.
Is it going to be a bumpy ride? You bet. It always is when groups of people are passionate about something. Are there going to be struggles along the way? There better be, or what we’re trying to accomplish probably isn’t worth the effort we’re putting in. This is the destiny of people for eternity we are talking about and we have the only Savior to point to for them. We are the Church, called and tasked with reaching out and making disciples of everybody everywhere.
This church, WLFMC, is perfectly positioned to be a church that makes a difference. People sometimes ask me what it’s like staying at one church for so long. The reason I have stayed and continue to stay is because of the vision I share with this church, this body of believers. I still have hope of what can be here, of what God is doing and will do in the future.
We have a team, perfectly poised and ready, and by team I mean more than just our staff. I mean all of us. Do we need more workers? Everywhere! But let’s get our hearts to praying, because Jesus wasn’t kidding when He told His disciples that the harvest was plentiful but the workers were few. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A people, once called…and I mean really called. Called from their own death to life. Called from being a sinner to being a saint. Called from being filled with dirt and grime in the world to being made clean, dressed in the righteous acts of Christ. A people, once called, will clamor for a part in the efforts to bring the whole world to this saving knowledge.
We Make Known a God we know, a God who knows us, a God who has continually made known since the beginning of time.