Our Journey Together

One of the things I like about being an elder at my church is getting to meet new members prior to having them presented before the whole congregation. This past weekend, we elders crowded into the church office before the morning service to hear from 12 people who had completed our new members' class and desired to join the church. What a beautiful thing it was to hear story after story of God's work in each individual's life. Twelve people, ranging in age from 20's to 60's, from cultures representing four continents. Adding in the brief testimonies each of us elders shared about our own faith journeys, you had such a diversity of upbringings and moments, all with God's fingerprints indelibly evident.

And it reminds me of where our confidence lies in our church's ability to touch a neighborhood and change the world. For counted among these life stories were not a few moments of peril and brokenness. Some of us had dubious intentions, some of us walked the crookedest of paths, and some of us found ourselves in tight spots. We had all sinned, and been sinned against. If the world were to assemble a team of difference-makers for society, it would not likely be persuaded by the stories shared that morning.

But God's hand was on all of us, and it was clear that He had claimed us and was yet in the process of more fully claiming us. And that is all He needs to do His work in this day: people, however messy and wandering and downtrodden and pained, who say yes to His journey and yes to His ways. I am glad to have heard a little from those who joined our church this weekend of what their journey has been like so far, and gladder still that our journeys can co-mingle now and into the future. However we may look to the world around us, we are the church - His church - and we ready and available to do His work.

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