It’s 4:00 Friday afternoon. And for the first time in about a month, the Legacy church building is relatively empty and quiet. Ada and Dianne are still working on some tables and boxes on the north end of the concourse. Katie is stacking a few more quilts. Bill is here and Quincy and Kent are visiting in the hall. But, for the most part, it seems as though we’re ready for Legacy’s 23rd annual Give Away Day tomorrow.
The hallways, the classrooms, the concourse, the lecture hall, the fellowship hall, the kitchen, every single square foot of space here at Legacy has been transformed. Racks and shelves and tables and chairs. Hundreds of boxes of clothes and linens and towels and toys and shoes and coats — new and used. It’s huge. You can’t believe it.
And I’m fully aware of the vision, the faith, and the guts it takes as a congregation to pull this off.It’s big. It’s almost overwhelming. And I’m so grateful for those who had the vision and faith and guts 23 years ago when this all started, and the ones who keep the vision alive with their own faith and guts year in and year out. Give Away Day is part of our Gospel story at Legacy. It is one of the biggest ways we, as a church family, join God in his work of reconciling creation back to him by reaching out in love and compassion to his people.Giving away food and clothes and household goods to people who so desperately need them certainly benefits the people in our community. Surely it communicates to them the love and grace of the God we serve. It has to show these people that they are loved and cared for by their Creator. But I wonder sometimes if it doesn’t do us at Legacy even more good. Give Away Day appeals to our common memory and connects us to those who went before us, those on whose shoulders we’re standing today. Keeping and repeating this particular tradition reminds us that it’s so much bigger than “me,” that our God was working in his world and in this church long before I got here and he’ll be working in his world and in this church long after I leave.It’s barely more than controlled chaos. But it’s shared by little kids, teenagers, young adults, singles, marrieds, whole families, newly retired, widows, and the elderly. We’re all in it together. And it’s beautiful.
Over 3,000 people will be served tomorrow. This church family will be brought closer together. Give Away Day will transform us as we are “being saved.” But, above all, our God will be praised. May he receive all the glory forever and ever.