Monday, June 01, 2009
Stories, Memories, and Lists
In two weeks, my church will celebrate 125 years of ministry in the Lord Jesus within the community of Mertens, Tx. For any church to make it 125 years in ministry is incredible, and the fact that FBC is the only church left in Mertens is extraordinary. The last couple of weeks, I have reviewed the past twenty-five year business meeting records. It is about as much fun as it sounds. There are some things that were happening twenty-five years ago that are still happening today. For instance, the same lady that motions that we adjurn the business meeting everytime we meet today did the same twenty-five years ago.
Coupled with reading business meeting notes was studying the end of Colossians. Colossians has been a fun letter to walk through with my church the last 14 weeks. The situation of Colossae is so similar to that of Mertens: a once prominent town now dwindled in size, looking dead from the outside. But Paul says there is something alive there because the Gospel is there, just like Mertens. But he ends the letter with a list. A list? Come on Paul, couldn't you end with something better than that? A list of greetings? Really? Who cares about Aristarchus, or Nympha (or whether or not she is a male or female), or Tychicus? Then I began to study the list a little more. There are Jews there, Greeks, males, females, slaves, and free. The list is more than a list. It is a picture of the church and the mission of God to reconcile the world back to himself. On the list was Onesimus and Mark, who both had to forgive and be forgiven by Philemon and Paul. Then I thought about the business meeting notes. I thought about the basketball court that was built for the kids to have somewhere to play. I thought about the new parsonage that Sarah and I enjoy Show allso much. I thought about the new wing to our building that will serve to disciple people for years to come. I thought about the family who we took care of during Hurricane Katrina thanks to the new building. Or the family that we bought bus tickets even and food even though the church was strapped for cash. I thought about the ten kids living in a trailor home that we provided over fifty Christmas presents for because they could not afford Christmas. I thought about the "friend-in-need" that required $6000 worth of classes to help with rehabilitation. I thought about providing the money for a funeral of a man who could not afford it. The business meeting lists and notes maybe boring reading, but the stories behind it show a picture of the movement and mission of God in Mertens. A list? Don't call it a list. There's a story there!