Last night I came cruising up my street and there it was, a prominently displayed ‘for sale’ sign in my front yard. Of course I knew this was coming, we have been planning for this for literally months now. However, upon seeing the sign I was a bit overwhelmed.
We are moving from what I consider my ideal home; open floor plan, parquet floors (cf Boston Garden), a nice backyard view, affordable mortgage, centrally located in Omaha, and easy access to the interstate. I really like this house. But at the same time God seems to be making it clear that we are to move so that we can move forward with a church plant some 25 miles south of us. So perhaps some of my emotion comes from an unbalanced earthly attachment to this structure, but I tend to doubt it; I have come to grips with the need to move.
Instead I think there are a couple of other factors at work here. One of which has been the recent push by so many within our church family to help get our house ready to sell. Now I should say that my handyman skills rival a blind camel; I have little to nothing to offer. This does not mean that I don’t work hard, it’s just the effectiveness and success that I have trouble with. As a result we have had a steady stream of people at our house over the last 60 days or so. These folks are doing everything from putting in a new front door, to installing lights, to cleaning windows, to plumbing, to landscaping, to painting, to cutting wood, and on the list goes. The fact of the matter is, I simply could not have done what needed to be done. People with far greater talent and skill are working hard to help us move and be better situated for ministry at the new campus.
To make matters better, so many folks want to talk about how great our Lord is. I love this. They come and work and brag about Christ’s greatness! Christie and I have been repeatedly floored by the effect of God’s grace in the life of so many people. God has been pleased to wed service with a Christ-centered joy that produces in us such sustained rejoicing.
This causes me to think about the effect of preaching and teaching the Word of God. To the extent that we truly serve one another to the glory of Christ we do so by the attendance of the Spirit of God to the Word of God in building up saints of God to serve, ultimately for the glory of God. When people serve it should motivate pastors and teachers to study harder, for God is doing something in these people’s lives.
I think the other emotional extreme is the reality that we are doing this (moving and planting a church). Of course I have not been in denial, but this helps things to become really tangible. I know that I never will know what it really is like to give birth (nor do I desire to) however, the countdown to the first Sunday does seem to parallel the various trimesters. One thing is sure, July 13th is coming fast and will be here before I know it.
The reason for this post is ultimately to brag on Christ. He is doing amazing things both in our lives and the lives of those around us. We are praying that we would truly think like missionaries and pursue the expansion of the gospel into this community. We know this is the right thing to do. At the same time, it is refreshing, convicting, motivating, and worship-provoking to be surrounded by so many who are yelling with their hands of service, prayers, and words of encouragement to work hard and fill that city with Christ’s teaching (Acts 5.28).
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