I spent the evening scurrying around our new building. Isn’t it always surprising how much time last minute details take?! Thankfully I wasn’t alone. There had been several crews in all day, and some stayed into the night. More people came to help – some not even from our church! We emptied trash, moved and removed and set up and re-set up books, put on table cloths, hid wood, found places for random things, dusted for the thousandth time… and more.
I went to bed exhausted but excited. I got up and arrived at the church at 7am. I practiced my sermon in an empty sanctuary because I want to improve on my preaching and I want the gospel to really be preached each week with excellence as a part of my calling. I want it to be clear that Jesus saves sinners.
Bobby, Julie, Paul and the band arrived at 8am. They set up and started practicing. I’m so thankful that we have such a committed team. Jake and April and others were here for hours on end getting the nursery ready so kids could be happy and safe so they’d love City Pres and Jesus – and so parents could come, rest and worship. The Stegers arrived with coffee. Two CityGroups came to help set up and clean up.
I sat and listened. I tried to quiet my nervous soul. I know we’re not ready all the way (signs! dust! furniture! tables!) but we had done as much as we could do. We’re all really tired, but this was it. It’s why we’ve been working. So Jesus could be more believable and beautiful – not only really to our own souls, but honestly mostly to those who would come today for the first time. Who will come for Easter Sunday and have no idea what this place looked like a few months ago. Who will benefit from Christ’s work on their behalf.
300 people came to worship with us. 300! That’s amazing for our young church. We only started worshiping 26 months ago. We bought this building – a miracle! – in November. 300 came to worship with us.
We prayed. We sang. We confessed our sins. We asked God to meet us and he did. I preached from John 17 about Jesus’ prayer for us and how we were not only sitting in that prayer but we were the answer to that prayer and that he loves us his children JUST AS he God loves him. That’s amazing. We took the Lord’s Supper. We gave our tithes and offerings. We were blessed to go out and serve our city and world.
Join us next week and every week. God is good. He loves his church. He loves City Pres. May we glorify him in all we say and do and may we enjoy him forever. It’s been and will be worth it – every second.