Grace Church Bellingham had a sweet beginning this morning. The walls haven't been painted and the outdoor banners weren't hung but the things that really matter were all in place. Joy, eagerness, enthusiasm ... it was everywhere. Hugs, some tears, and a lot anticipation for the coming months passed around among us.
Dax's sermon hit the spot ... all of our hopes about what we want the new church to be are all good, but not central. Central is the gospel, not just for the day we were saved, but for today; it's the air we breath, it's the hope of tomorrow. My hope is not in my goodness, how well I perform my Christian life today ... my hope is in my union with Christ; His identity now mine. A quote by S. Ferguson, "You begin to learn to interpret your life in terms of what God says about you because you are united to Christ instead of interpreting the Gospel in terms of where you are in your struggle."
Little friend, Jimmy (age 2.5) and Ania Marie (age 4)
It was so neat to hear Micah's story and watch his dad baptize him. Sweet to have a baptism on our first Sunday together. These men all highly respect each other and love hanging out together along with the other guys on the launch team.
Considering that we were given a key to the building about 48 hours before our first service, the logistics fell together amazingly well. The music and sound equiptment presented the most challenge but Aaron, Chris and others were able to pull it off. Drums. We even had drums. It will be neat to see us settle into our our own worship style. So many ideas floating around that will eventually settle into a groove.
I really don't know if our house can handle much more excitement than the past couple weeks have given. Scansen week, the camp out, Maui, and today the most amazing good thing of all, the church starting. Sometimes I raise my eyebrows and shake my head in wonder at the timing God choses for events to happen in life ... almost never how I would have written the script. But I'm learning not to question or ask why, but to just take the serving He puts in front of me every day. Learning to take it with joy and gratitude and with a heart that trusts. And how I often fail at those things, but I'm learning not to focus on my failure but to chin up, to remember that He sees Christ when He looks at me, so His eyes are full of forgiveness and grace ... and a smile.