We like to see. When driving, we like to see what is ahead of us.
We like to go to high hills and see far off places unseen from the low ground. We vacation near the ocean or a lake where we can see far, often beyond the horizon. We like the known, we like seeing. I was recently visiting my friend and her ten-month-old baby. Even the baby likes seeing. Mom is her life and she likes when mom is in view.
But what happens when we can't see? What about when our windshield gets hit with snow? What about when we are walking through the woods, not knowing where the clearing will be? What happens when the baby can no longer see her mom? Often times, we get worried. We drive slower and more cautiously. We don't want to hit other cars. We wonder if we are walking in circles. The baby wonders what her future will be like without mom, where will she get her next meal, who will rock her to sleep? We like seeing, there is comfort in seeing, in the known.
Its similar to our relationship with God. When I can see the path He has laid out for me, when I can see His hand working in my life, I feel safe and comfortable. But when life is a mess and I feel like I can't catch a breath, I worry, I wander, I cry, I wonder where God is and if He's coming back. But it is in the times I can't see that my faith and trust grow stronger. They are beneficial times though I wouldn't always call them good.
Are you in a time of seeing or a time of blurry vision?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
There have been exciting things going on at my church. We started in September with an intense, regulars-focused series on the church's vision and raising money to build two new churches in the metro area. Money, money money! Its simply something every church needs if it is going to put on these type of services. But money is not what the church is all about, and they wanted to make that clear, so our next series (which we are currently wrapping up) was very seeker-friendly, designed to invite your friends who are far from God. Over the last few weeks, I have seen visitors nervously check in their children and hesitantly go to the service and the next week they do the same process with ease and joy! I've seen my own friends come not once but twice and say how they were just thinking of the sermon topic in the car on the way over! People are coming and our services are more packed than they've ever been. People, people, people! But still, that is not what this is about. Which brings me to this week...our Christmas Eve services. Our Christmas Eve service is a "Say YES" service in both the adult service and kids programming. This is the service where the pastor gives a very focused message and invitiation to say YES to Jesus. This is what church is about! The life change that Jesus brings into lives is key! Some might say, well, every service should be a YES service, and casually, if you look for it, they are, but every service is very strategic, pulling people in who have been hurt by the church or have had bad experiences with the church or simply have never been to the church. If every service was a blatant say YES service, people may be turned away or those who are Christians might not get a chance to grow in their faith. So, I'm excited for the "Say YES" service and I'm excited the church did not simply invite people to this one service, but invited them to a month of services which culminate this week in a powerful way!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
A little over a year ago we had a fire in the apartment building I live in. You can read more about it in my original post. The most memorable part of the evacuation for me, was sitting on the lawn across the street with my neighbors when the fire trucks pulled up. Two huge ladder trucks parked in front of our building, lights strobing. After they stopped, they put up two huge flood lights which plunged our building into a daylight no darkness could easily penetrate. Every brick, every leaf could be seen clearly.
I am reminded of that light shining on my building everytime we sing "Mighty to Save" and we get to the lines:
"Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen king"
Shine your light! I think of my building with the huge lights illuminating it. How desperately I want God's light to shine that bright, to immerse the darkness in my neighbors lives!
So today I hosted a winter party. I put up a few signs and opened the door to my home. Six of my neighbors showed up, two families. We had a good conversation and decorated cookies while the kids played games and did crafts. I am so glad they came and so glad they felt welcomed. We are talking about having another party for our building and I can't wait!