Having people over isn't crazy. Having Bible study in our home isn't crazy. Having more kids over than we can handle isn't crazy. We've done all this before. But what makes tonight unique is that we opened our doors a little wider, inviting many who aren't in our little clique at church, many who aren't even members of our church (gasp), and many others who have left our church in the past. When we all sit down together to break bread, it is likely most there won't know one another. But I expect we will be close when it's all said and done.
This is also crazy because of the zeal my wife an I have on this subject. I've long lamented over the state of the Church, reading book after book, and blog after blog, to try and find the missing ingredient. My wife found it in this book that she couldn't put down. When I finally read it myself, a light went on. I realized what we've been missing all this time. We have had a low view of God. We worship the church, not the Creator. We pray just to get through the day, not to make a difference. In a word, we've become lukewarm.
So tonight this changes. Tonight we're going to start a fire. And I pray it spreads to burn whole churches down.
One of my favorite "pep talks" is The Fellowship of the Unashamed. There are many versions out there, but here's one that comes closest to how I remember it when I first heard it years ago:
I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed."
I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I've stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees,colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking , chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals!
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, live by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, and my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, back up, let up, slow up or shut up until I've preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus.
I must go until He returns, give till I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me... my colors will be clear.
For "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16)