09 Aug What a Story to Tell
My heart is still overflowing with joy as I think about worship this past weekend.
As one unified body, we gathered to marvel at God’s grace, and consecrated our Family Life Center once more as a sacred space devoted to worship.
There were countless moments on that special day this pastor will treasure always.
- Watching the reaction of our people at the beauty of our renovated spaces.
- The momentum of the worshipful procession of an entire Body, determined.
- The raw power of voices lifted in song.
- Beginning with Amazing Grace. “…when we’ve been there 10,000 years…”
- Ending with 10,000 Reasons. “…10,000 years and then forever more…”
- Watching tears wiped from faces as bread is broken and the cup is shared.
- Seeing our youth quote the benediction as I spoke it.
- Sensing the exhilaration and energy of a people with a shared hope.
The most poignant moment for me, however, may have come during Litany of Consecration. Hearing you recite these words moved me:
Pastor: Beloved daughters and sons of the most high God,
why have you come to this place?
People: We have come to proclaim a great truth.
We have come to declare that the Lord himself is among us.
We have come to declare this space and all that happens within it as holy and sacred unto the Lord.
We, who are His body, come to consecrate!
Pastor: Yes. But do you not know? Have you not heard that YOU are the temple of God? It’s in YOU that God’s own Spirit dwells. You ARE the body of Christ.
People: Yes, we have heard, and do believe that the mystery of God’s own life and beauty resides within us. But that is PRECISELY why we are here. To marvel at this Mystery that abides within, to affirm it, embrace it, and be transformed by it.
Pastor: For that reason, and to that end, we give thanks for this space, and do consecrate it and ourselves to the worship of God.
ALL: Together, with one voice, we devote this space as sacred and holy ground. May every song we sing, every prayer we whisper, every word of good news we proclaim, be wholly devoted to the glory of God and the transformation of the world, beginning even now. Amen!
During that sacred exchange, as I heard you declare your intent, I was overwhelmed. I was overcome with the awareness of just how many people had devoted time, energy, love, and leadership, to bring us to that point. I was moved by the thought of how far we had come together, and how your love for Christ and for one another had fueled the journey.
It was quite a moment.
And you are quite a church.
It is for this reason we must tell our story!
Why? So that others may experience this shared life of authentic worship with us.
Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.
Johns Creek Baptist Church
Note: Thanks to Fred Kelley and an amazing video crew, you can see footage of our consecration service here. Soon, there will be a shorter “highlight” video for you to share with friends.