There is a Tommy Walker song that says, “How good and pleasant it is when we dwell together in unity and praise the Lord, praise the Lord.”
That was this past Sunday. Celebration Sunday was such a beautiful picture of Christ’s bride as He intended it. A gathering of his misfit bandit of children from all walks and stages of life coming together in ONE accord to proclaim all angles of his goodness to us. His faithfulness. His generosity. His redemption. His encouragement. His sovereignty. His timing. His love.
Whether the speaker was a bestie or an acquaintance at best, together as a body of believers, I think we agreed in one accord. Our commonalities were stronger on Sunday than any differences. It was such an emotional gift to be able to step back and reflect on how God moved far beyond what we could have ever hoped for.
Yes, he parted a financial sea before our very eyes, but it was also so much more. He moved among his people and allowed so much ministry to happen . . . so much personal growth and discipleship to happen . . . so much Christ-based community to happen.
Isn’t it a trip to think about how the Creator of heaven and earth allows us to each be an MVP for his team? Whether it is through giving, serving, evangelizing, praying, being present and so on, He lets us play a part. Despite our sinful nature and track record at screwing up, he doesn’t bench us. He doesn’t need us . . . He’s God . . . but He delights in our “yeses.” What a good good Father.
I had all the feels on Sunday.
I loved hearing the testimonies both on the panel and at lunch.
I loved hearing from our matching grant donors and the journey God set them on.
I loved the undeniable larger than life testimonies about a God who did far beyond what we could have ever hoped or imagined.
I loved the charge to reflect on my own personal faith in God. Do I pray as if He will show up and do wonders far beyond what I could imagine, or do I play it safe and pray calculated prayers?
I loved looking around the gym and seeing a sea of faces I love. A sea of faces of people who have prayed for me, invested in me, made a meal for me, confided in me, held my babies when I was overwhelmed and sat with me in hard times.
My husband and I have been at Church of the Open Door for nearly 19 years and it just felt like a beautiful showcase of the how inner tangled our roots can be when we press into community. People are messy. Relationships are messy. People let you down, but if you press into it, the beauty outweighs the rough edges.
I loved that my kids were there and got to hear and see the generations all proclaim God’s faithfulness.
I loved the truth that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The same God who gave Abraham a ram is the same God who provided for downtown LA COD, and the same God who paid off our new ministry space and filled it with ministry, and the same God who will continue to show up and dazzle my kids and their kids with story after story of His faithfulness and love.
I don’t know about y’all, but when I left on Sunday, I thought, “Well, if that ain’t church then I don’t know what is.”
What a privilege it is to do ministry with y’all.
P.S. On Sunday our beloved Judy Cocoris shared a story of God’s amazing faithfulness to Church of the Open Door at a time when we were down to our final $300 in the bank (you can hear the whole story near the end of our livestream HERE). At the conclusion she said, “It is vital that we pass these stories on to the next generation. Not only has God been faithful to us, but we need to continue to be faithful to Him.”
Do you have a story of God’s faithfulness that you could share? We’d love to collect them and record them and think about how to pass them on, to be good historians of what the Lord has done among us.