Monday, February 14, 2011

worship service

like most christian churches, lighthouse worships together on sunday mornings (a.k.a., the Lord's day, so named because Jesus rose from the dead on a sunday). this usually includes singing, prayer, and a message from the word of God. it's a time for gathering, for aligning our purposes with God's (repenting where necessary), and exalting him together. but this past week, during lighthouse's 10th anniversary weekend, we took a different tack on worship.

first, we gathered together as a whole church (rare, since lighthouse usually meets in two services that don't mix all that often) on saturday night to praise God and recount the wonderful things he's done over the past 10 years, including growth from about 30 to over 500, nearly 200 baptisms, and hundreds of lives changed by Jesus. the good folks at westminster chapel were kind enough to loan us their facility, and we had a wonderful time celebrating the goodness, power, and generosity of God among us.
the next morning, we rose early to serve God in our community with our first-ever anniversary service project. the plan, hatched in the fertile, creative mind of pastor n, was to hold a dump/donate day, with dumpsters at two locations -- one at phantom lake elementary where we usually gather on sundays, the other at the lighthouse center (which houses our offices and is the seven-days-a-week spot for a lot of ministry). the hope: to collect all manner of goods, sort and donate the reusables to local charities, and dump the garbage. it was a great idea in theory; but would the lighthouse people respond? and would the community participate? the answer: yes and yes!some 200 volunteers showed up that morning to move and haul, sort and package, knock and invite, greet and feed. after a slow start, we were inundated with community participation, and by the end of the day, we had filled two dumpsters plus one more small truckload for the dump and prepared two large trucks for donation to world relief (refugee resettlement) and the jubilee reach thrift store, plus two vans full of items for eastside baby corner (children's and maternity items for those in need).

in romans 12:1, the apostle paul challenges christians to offer their bodies as living sacrifices. this, he says, is their spiritual service of worship. the dump/donate day was a chance to take our worship out into the community -- to praise God there in generous acts of service. why wait for them to come to us?

let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds

and praise your Father in heaven.

(matthew 5:16)

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