The four downtown churches got together here at Central last night to celebrate what our God is doing through our “4 Amarillo” coalition with a homemade ice cream social. And, wow, what an event! We CofC’ers do pretty well when it comes to food. We may not be social drinkers, but we are certainly social eaters. We had a great relaxed evening of eating and sharing and laughing together, renewing old community bonds and forming new friendships determined not by our differences, but based on what we have in common: Christ Jesus our Lord. And ice cream.
Today is the last day for the Block Party / Bible schools at the Wills and San Jacinto school parks. But the work on the Chavez house is expected to go through tomorrow and probably in to Saturday. What fun it is to see men and women and children of all ages and from all denominational backgrounds scraping and painting, sanding and sawing, pulling down dead trees and laying new floor together. Together.
Of course, when we’re washing paintbrushes together, the Methodists use a lot less water than I think they should. The Presbyterians feel like they’re predestined to spend all of their time in the kitchen — they don’t have a choice. The Baptists keep trying to organize us into small classes. And the Church of Christers have a tendency to think we’re the only ones there. But it’s working. It’s working because Jesus Christ is Lord and he is very interested in his disciples showing the same love and grace to one another as he shows to us. It’s working because we all realize we’re part of something so much bigger than our four individual congregations or our four distinct denominations. We’re all a part of the eternal Kingdom of God. And when we work and worship our God together, the world sits up and takes notice.
In case you missed it, here’s a link to the story KAMR-TV did at the Chavez house yesterday.
And here’s a link to yesterday’s Globe News story about Central’s Gifted 2 Go.
All four churches are gathering at First Baptist Sunday night in another combined worship assembly. We’re planning to praise our God together in song and prayer, to share a bunch of stories from the block parties and the food bank and the house project, and to celebrate the privilege it is to partner with our God in redeeming all of creation back to himself. We’re hoping Ray and Gloria Chavez can be there. If you live in Amarillo, I’m hoping you’ll be there to witness and experience what it’s like when God’s people put the needs of others ahead of their own. And I’m praying that our God continues to bless us with his spirit of unity and cooperation among all the Christians in our city.