This coming Sunday at Legacy we continue a tradition associated with our 21 year old Give Away Day. It’s been called Blue Jean Sunday, but it’s really just a work day to set everything up for Give Away Day. Everyone’s encouraged to wear their work clothes to the assembly Sunday morning, stay for a congregational meal together, and then work together all afternoon setting up the tables and racks and shelves, sorting clothes and shoes and appliances, and stacking chairs. Usually we’ll be done right around 3:00 or so. But there are plenty of folks who stick around until our 5:30 afternoon assembly.
Calling it Blue Jean Sunday doesn’t really have the impact it once had. Just about everybody wears their blue jeans to church now anyway. But I will be preaching in my blue jeans Sunday (not blue jean shorts, Chris!!). And I’m afraid I’ll experience a constant dread of being struck by lightning. Or, worse than that, I’m afraid my dad will find out.
At 5:30 we’re going to explore this whole Give Away Day thing that’s such a big part of the Gospel story of the Pipeline / Legacy Church of Christ. We’ll look at old pictures and slides. And we’ll hear from three or four of our members about their Give Away Day experiences and stories, including Charley Potter’s recollections of that very first Give Away Day 21 years ago. The focus of our time together will be on our church family acting as the hands and feet of Jesus in this community. And going after the folks in our neighborhoods with love and peace just as hard as our God does.
By the time Paul sat down to pen his great letter to the church in Thessalonica, the term “Day of the Lord” carried great weight and baggage. The earliest account we have of that term is the prophet Amos, 700 years before Paul and the establishment of that church at Jason’s house.
The Hebrew Scriptures’ use of the term explicitly reference the day when God actively intervenes in history, usually with terrible wrath and judgment. It was a day marked by gloom and darkness. Mountains melt on the “Day of the Lord.” The moon turns to blood. Stars fall out of the sky. It was a day to be dreaded. The term and the images that accompanied the term struck fear in the hearts of God’s people. Nobody looked forward to the “Day of the Lord.” They were actually instructed to dread it because, when it came, it would be awful. It was the day all the world, including God’s chosen nation, would be judged and punished for its sins.
But every New Testament reference to the “Day of the Lord” is positive. God’s people are told to anticipate the “Day of the Lord” with great enthusiasm and to greet it with rejoicing. Paul writes to the Corinthians and the Philippians to tell them that they will be pure and blameless on that Day. Spirits will be saved on that Day. Paul will boast on that Day, for others and for himself.
1 Thessalonians is the very first, very earliest, book in the New Testament, written in 50-52 AD. And Paul provides for us there the very first written connection between the death of Jesus and our salvation (5:10).
Jesus died. That’s what changed. It changed everything. And disciples of Jesus look forward now to the “Day of the Lord” with tremendous anticipation knowing that he died for us “that we may live together with him.”
***Legacy Church of Christ Construction Update***
The concrete trucks have been out here all week, pouring the foundation trenches (is that what you call those?) and all the new parking areas. I’m told we won’t be able to park in the new spaces this weekend. But next Sunday, the 7th, it’s wide open. Right now, in between our two morning services during Bible class time, our parking lot resembles a shopping mall in December. No spaces and lots of cars in long lines driving up and down the packed aisles.
Notice Kent right in the smack dab middle of all of it. Insert your own comment or smart aleck remark here: ________.
No time this week to break down the Cowboys, how impressed I finally am with Tony Romo, Patrick Crayton’s Jackie Smith moment, Mark Cuban’s moves, or Nolan Ryan’s falling a half-notch from the lofty pedestal on which I’ve placed him. No time. Go Rams.
My truck turned over 100,000 miles on the way in Tuesday morning. Remember when that used to be a big deal? Was it because the numbers all flipped back to zeroes? I don’t think cars used to be built to drive that long. It’s not as uncommon as it once was. I think Doug Deere’s truck has over 260,000 miles on it right now. I still thought it was pretty cool. Dad, the picture’s for you.
Carrie-Anne and I are leaving at noon today for Austin where I’m one of the speakers at Austin Grad’s big fundraising dinner tonight at the Austin Country Club. They’re in the middle of a huge fundraising and building project. And I’m honored they think anything I say might make a difference for them. I’m hoping it does. I love that school. I love everything about every minute I spent with the people there. And I highly recommend it to anyone who’s wanting to upgrade their understanding of God’s Word and Christian Ministry.
Earlier this week, I was going through the notes of a speech I made to some Austin Grad donors (is that what you call them?) back in April 2006. And towards the end of my speech I said this:
“I have no idea where I’m going to be 13-months from now. But we’re giddy with anticipation. In May 2007 I hope and pray to find a community that desperately needs God and a church family willing to roll up its sleeves to take our God to that community. I want God to use me and that church to turn that town upside down for him. I want our Father to completely use us up in service to him. I want him to work through me and that church to fulfill his mission. I want to be the catalyst in that community for revival among his children and for the saving of many souls. I want to bring God’s people closer to him and closer to each other.”
My prayers have been answered far beyond my expectations. Legacy and North Richland Hills. A situation like this never one time crossed my mind. Our God is always dreaming bigger than we are. We can’t ever out-vision him.
But let’s try. Let’s join our Father in reclaiming creation and reconciling all of it back to him.
Have a great weekend.