There are a lot of times a pastor has the opportunity to hear words of thank you that really should be spoken to the entire congregation. Today was one of those days. I was making my way across the welcome center when one of the many people who attends the Midday Miracles AA group stopped me, “Are you the pastor here?” It was an honest question…I was traveling incognito wearing my blue jeans and polo shirt. “Yes, I am the pastor.” “Hello, I just want to say thank you for letting us meet in this space, it is a beautiful picture of Christianity at work.”
“A beautiful picture of Christianity at work.” I started to think about that for the rest of the afternoon. What does Christianity at work look like? In the mind of the young woman I was talking with it has something to do with gracious hospitality. Opening your doors to people who are seeking to improve their lives, working to overcome addiction and who are supporting each other as they take it one day at a time. There is something very Christ like in the way our church is continually open to multiple AA groups, providing them space to do the work they need to do as they pursue sobriety and peace in their lives. Thank you for being a people who share the space God has blessed us with, you bear witness to graciousness of God with your hospitality.
My mind started to wander to several other conversations I have had over the past few weeks. As we have pursued a deeper understanding of the Mission, Vision, Values of FBC several people have shared these thoughts…
“Pastor, this is not easy”
“Pastor, I believe I may have been selfish with my gift”
“Pastor, You are not making it easy for me”
I want to assure you that as I prepare these messages each week I am wrestling with what the scriptures are calling us to. I agree with many of the thoughts shared in response to the messages each week. Living as a “Mature Follower of Jesus” is not easy. It takes work. It is a journey. Praise God we do not have to accomplish it relying upon our own strength…we have the Holy Spirit alive and well at work inside us helping us mature and grow each and every day. Praise God we do not have to accomplish it alone. We have the privilege of journeying together as a community of faith: learning, encouraging, supporting and speaking honestly with each other as we journey towards spiritual maturity. Praise God we have the promise shared by the Apostle Paul, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
My prayer is that as we continue to grow in our ability to live out our Mission, Vision and Values we will hear more and more people stop us and say, “This is a beautiful picture of Christianity at work.” At this point we will give God all the praise, honor & glory and thank Him for allowing us to have some small part in being an answer to the prayer we are so familiar with, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven.”