“Christmas is about getting everything you want…” This is what Charlie Brown’s misguided sister Sally says in one of those adorable Peanuts’ Christmas shows that my boys love to watch. We all got a huge kick out of it. Christmas through the eyes of little children…sigh…I don’t know why I woke up thinking about this today. Perhaps it was because I’ve been thinking too much about my own needs and about what I want.
Sometimes I catch myself in the midst of selfish prayer, and I believe that’s why this particular image came to my mind this morning. Once again, I found myself going through a laundry list of wants and wishes which fulfillment would be all about my own personal gain. Needless to say, I felt convicted when I realized it. The precise moment it happened was when I was asking the Lord to guide us to the church where He would want us to attend.
As it happens, since moving to a different community, my family has been hanging on to our home church. It is very hard to write about this because I just simply don’t have the words. Basically, our home church is the place where Christ met me and brought me to Him. It was the place where I first heard the Good News. It was the place where The Lord opened up the His Word to me through the Bible teaching of our Pastor. It was the place where I knew the meaning of care, compassion and friendship. It was the place where strong ropes of fellowship were braded by strands woven by the very hands of God’s love.
Needless to say, it is almost impossible to even begin to think about belonging to another church. The time is approaching, however, when my family will have to make the move. I have been praying for God to show us the way ever since before we bought our new house. The decision is coming nearer and nearer now and I find myself fervently praying for this new church to meet our needs. This morning, however, a new thought came to me…what if the Lord wants us to be at a church where we can be of service…where we can help meet the church’s needs…
It was an epiphany…
The words formed in my silent prayer just like that: “Please Lord, lead us to a church where we can serve.”
What a revelation…
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13: 11
Often times, transitions are very difficult. We tend to resist them. We fear them. New is, in many cases, synonym of scary. It could too, however, mean exciting. The moment now is for me to leave the childhood/selfish ways behind and grow into the person that the Lord is calling me to be. I cannot be Sally from the Peanuts anymore. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords came down to Earth to serve, not to be served. He came to give Himself up for us, not to receive. And He asks us to do the same.
I cannot express the feelings of sadness and melancholy I experience just considering the possibility of pledging membership to a different church. But then I realize I am not leaving the church…I’m may just be attending a different congregation, for after all, we are all one body...we are all one church.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2: 19-22