Some skills are God-given. Some are acquired through hard work. Through years of practice and hard work, I have learned to spot a garage sale sign at great distances. Driving through the city recently my eye caught a big one. Not only was it a going out of business sign, it was at a church.
I drove to a big old church building that backed up to a high school in one of the older parts of the city. It was a mainline protestant church, and as I entered the old gym, the sights and smells were familiar. It looked and felt like almost every older church I have been in. Like my church, even. I wandered around the building some, and it had all the problems older buildings have. Dated decor, lots of stairs, and it was probably difficult to direct people in the maze of hallways. One table in the back had a picture of the congregation taken a few years back. The church shared little demographically with the high school you could see out the window. I talked to a few of the ladies work…
About two weeks ago, I was awakened by a call from a church member, about 5 AM. I didn't think it was a social call at that hour, and sure enough he had called to tell me the church was on fire.
I threw clothes on and ran down there, watching as firefighters worked hard to put out the fire in our Nursery, Children, and office building. The fire was set intentionally by two young men, who said they were "bored," and had already set the middle school music room on fire earlier. All our first responders did a great job, with about 7 units coming out from surrounding areas. I had a little experience with this through dealing with it through church members and friends, but never had it been my own stuff. My office got hit pretty hard, as you can see.
I didn't have much of value besides my computer and my books, and we were able to get most of those out. All day Friday and Saturday was spent running, running, running, getting things out, calling insurance, fieldin…
It was something that had happened to me hundreds of times before. I stood in front of the church leading in the Lord's Supper. Taking the plates, leading in prayer, and doing it all in remembrance of the work and sacrifice of Jesus.
I had prepared and prayed and was ready to lead. As the music started and I walked out I was reminded again of how grateful I was to be able to lead the church in this remembrance. I think this is one the great privileiges I have as a pastor, and I have tried to never take it for granted.
Our human mind though, often forgets, even when it needs to remember. My desk that is littered with post-it notes is a testament to that. It is because God knows that we are prone to forget that we are told to "do this in remembrance of me." Every time your church partakes in this remembrance, it helps to remind us, so that we don't forget the sacrifice of Christ for us, His body broken and his blood shed.