If you would have walked in to the church last night you would have seen something quite remarkable. Your senses would have been overloaded. You would have smelled fresh wood fired pizza. You would have seen the joy of children running, laughing, and playing. You would have watched as parents huddled over various creative projects their children worked so hard to draw, build, photograph, sew, bake, animate, and plant. I stood in the midst of it all and became humbled by a profound reality expressed so beautifully in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
I became a bystander to a great truth often overlooked in our daily lives. Moments when the realities of God’s inspired word take on flesh. Those words become real, living and active. His word was shaping and moving the hearts of hundreds of children right before my eyes. His truth and the power of the Gospel was imprinting itself on their young impressionable hearts. In that moment, the darkness of the world with all its hurts and heartache was losing ground in the battle for their bright and shining souls. Sometimes in the busyness of those moments it is easy to miss the activity of God going on all around us, but last night it was nearly unavoidable.
Just minutes later we were all gathered in the auditorium. Those excited and rambunctious little balls of energy where now turning their attention from food and bounce houses, to the one true and living God. I hurriedly grabbed a camera and snapped this picture.
A room full of God’s creation raising their hands and singing, “There is power in the name of Jesus.” Wow. Just wow. That will bring a grown man (not prone to crying) to a full blown, throat choked, eye swollen, tear fest.
Last night I heard an inspiring story of young boy attending this year’s Activate. When he heard that there were people who don’t have a Bible in their own language (this year’s supported mission was Pioneer Bible Translators) he immediately ran to grab his wallet and emptied the entirety of its content into a white envelope to give to the church. Those single dollar bills and small silver coins represented birthday gifts from grandparents, chores, and extra work done in the yard. Instantly given without a second thought. It reminded me of something Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew when confronting the idea of who is the greatest in the kingdom of God.
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
That sort of humility, focused and without hesitation, was on display last night in the hearts of kids at Forum. They raised over $1400 from lemonade stands, chores, and birthday gifts (maybe a few parents helped chip in as well). They gave because they saw a need and wanted to act. I can only wonder what happens when we share the same attitude and respond with the same humility and action. I want to say a special thank you the numerous volunteers, helpers, parents and leaders who made Activate so amazing. Without your faithful and selfless service those moments simply are not possible. Thanks for being the reflection of Christ to so many.
This Sunday we are literally going to explore what happened when God’s word was made flesh, came to life, and appeared on the scene of humanity. We are going to talk about what we believe, why we believe it and how that one powerful truth should impact our daily lives. I want to invite you to be a part of an ongoing movement of God’s presence and activity going on all around us. See you Sunday.