This is one of my favorite Sundays of the whole year. Stonepoint Serves. We take one Sunday out of the year and do not just go to church, we remember that we are the Church.
This Sunday, we will all meet at 9:00 am. One "service" where we will sing a couple of hymns/choruses and say a prayer. That's it at the church. From there, we will go out and spend the morning serving and meeting needs in the community. Yard work, small construction projects, painting, whatever needs we can address. Journey Groups (small groups/Sunday School-like classes) will meet and work together on specific projects they have noticed and identified within the group. Other church members will tackle projects identified by nomination or request.
It's about giving back to the community. About making the community better. About serving and meeting the needs that we can see or are brought to our attention. About feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, inviting in the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the imprisoned.
And it makes an impact. We can see it and observe it.
Could you imagine if all churches could do this? What would it look like if every church took one Sunday morning to go out and serve? For it to be such a priority that they took the regularly scheduled worship time to serve? What would our community look like?
In a quick search, I can identify twenty four churches in Wills Point, Texas alone. If every church took one Sunday, that works out to the Church serving the community nearly every other Sunday. And it does not matter if the church has five members or five hundred members, it is still the church getting out of its walls and acting as the hands and feet of Christ, whether in one project or fifty.
Full confession, I write this as Jamie and I are visiting family in San Antonio and not able to be a part of the activities this morning. But we are anxiously looking forward to serving with our Journey Group on an alternate date. And we would love it if the church added one or more Stonepoint Serves Sundays throughout the year.
It's a reminder that our call is to care for and serve our neighbor just as much as it is to evangelize. Loving them requires both.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
The Living Bible translates this passage as "It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others." The "good works" reference is service. It is what we are to be about, to serve God and to serve others; to serve God by serving others.
Further, where it mentions "God's handiwork", it should be translated as a work of an artisan, not just of a craftsman. We are the pinnacle of God's workmanship. His masterpiece.
So let's go serve and live like it.