Thursday, June 12, 2008

c - h - U - R - c - h

We’re getting ready for Vacation Bible School next week. The majority of our preparation time includes weeks of basically dreading it. Once we get into it and get involved with all the kids, it always turns out to be fun. The kids have a way of helping you believe it really is a summer vacation kind of week. God bless those children.

It’s just knowing ahead of time how totally exhausted you’re going to be by the end of the week that causes all the dread beforehand. All that singing and hand motions and dance steps and repeating them over and over and over - - I grow weary just thinking about it.

VBS was something I always enjoyed as a little girl. It was a big event at our small church. If I looked through some of the boxes in the attic I would probably find some of those crafts I made all those years ago. VBS is one of the happy memories of my young church-going life.

I have a lot of church memories because I have always loved going to church. Even when I became a teenager and it wasn’t so ‘cool’ anymore, I still went. There were a lot of Wednesday nights when I was the only young person there. Still, I enjoyed it. I don’t think my teenage friends understood my affection for it back then. Honestly, I don’t think I understood it either.

I feel certain that some of my getting-older-every-day-friends today still don’t understand it. I think they probably see my devotion to it as a byproduct of being married to a minister. Truth is, I loved church long before I got a husband. I think my love for church is why God allowed a minister fall in love with me.

I know a building isn’t a church. I believe it is the people who are the church. Still, I think I’ve always loved it when the people who ARE the church, meet together in a building that we CALL the church.

I know you can DO church anywhere. I know you can BE the church anywhere (at home, the ball field, the beach, etc.) and let’s hope that we are actually doing that. But how many of those “anywhere” places do we go to with the purpose and highest priority being to worship and praise our God? Usually we go with our main goal being something like resting or playing or swimming or being with other people or just getting away from it all. We can look for things to praise God for while all the other is going on, but then the worship becomes secondary. All those are good things, but I think it’s important to have a place where believer’s can get together for the sole purpose and priority of worshipping God.

Just over eleven years ago, we moved here when my husband accepted the position as Minister of Music at First Baptist Church. At first, we both resisted the invitation for him to consider the position. There was absolutely nothing in the world to draw us here.

We had no friends or family here or anywhere nearby. There was no job for me, much less any career option, where I could use what I had been trained and educated to do. We didn’t even have a fondness for this part of the country.

There was no allure. Except the call of God.

Yes, we had a choice, and like I said, we resisted at first. Eventually we saw that if we truly wanted to follow His leading, anything else really was not an option.

I left everything I knew and loved and was good at to come to a place where some people still don’t know my name, even after 11 years. I traded everything I had for the precious freedom of being in His will of serving and ministering in this church. I have no regrets.

I do not need any acknowledgment or recognition for any sacrifice of what WAS my former life. I do, however, want my life and actions to be an indicator of just how much I love this church. I want to see it follow hard after Jesus. I want to see the Holy Spirit move in it like He never has before. I want to see the Lord God Almighty praised loud and clear.

There is no one who cares more about seeing this church grow and flourish than me.

Well, maybe there is one. The One. The One and Only.

I pray often to be made more like Jesus and I think I’m beginning to finally seen a tiny resemblance. I can only pray that others can see it too.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21:1-3

1 comment:

THE ROOST said...

VBS is awesome! That is where I came to know the 40 years ago! :))