September 15th 2008 No comments yet
Yesterday (9/14) was glorious! And momentous! And exhausting!
Glorious. I don’t think that word’s too hyperbolic to describe yesterday’s worship experience. For me it was the culmination of almost five years of praying, yearning, thinking, talking, decision-making and, okay, I’ll admit it, worrying. I wept and I laughed and I tried to soak in everything that I could see and hear. Watching folks react to the atrium and the worship center was fascinating. One little boy told me that the atrium looked like an airport. “And that’s a complement,” his mother assured me. There were not a few “wows” as people got their first look at the worship center. Singing and listening and praying and giving–it all made for a truly glorious day.
Momentous. Yes, we’ve crossed another threshold. We’ll never be again the church that we were. Oh, don’t get me wrong. We haven’t changed what we believe or what’s important to us. We’ll still preach the Word and worship the Lord. Our mission is still to encourage all people to pursue a lifelong, joyous relationship with Jesus Christ. But we’re a different church now. Our presence and stature in the community has grown. We’ll welcome new folks each week and they’ll be able to stay because there’s now a place for them to sit! The cozy feel of 3,750 of your closest friends is gone. Now we get to be cozy with over 5,000 adults and 2,000 children. Be patient. It’ll take a while for all of us to feel as “at home” in the new space as we did in our beloved gospel WalMart.
Exhausting. Many of our staff and volunteers left the building Sunday feeling wiped out. Serving that many new folks takes a toll. That’s why we need many more to step forward with a heart to make Stonebriar a place that folks want to come back to.
Nostalgia is not a Christian virtue. We’re often encouraged in Scripture to remember what the Lord has done in our lives but nostalgia is far more than remembering the past; it’s the desire to go back and live in that past. The Christian life looks forward on the basis of what God has done in the past. There’ll be times in the next few weeks when we’ll be tempted to wish things hadn’t changed at SCC, to wish that we could go back to the past. More than a few of us have already heard, “I don’t like the new seats.” “I can’t see as well.” Don’t give in to that yearning for something that’ll never return. There’s nothing of benefit for you in longing for the past. Instead, let’s embrace our future together.
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