Friday, July 17, 2009

God is Good

Ended our series "God is...____________" this last week with a kick-it message from Steven Furtick. The little prayer I was taught growing up: "God is great, God is good" contained some profound truths for my life. God is not only powerful, but has good intentions. If only one of those were true (and many people think only one of those is true and so serve a lopsided god), why bother?

It's been life-giving for us to be a part of this year's installment of the One Prayer movement. Craig Groeschel gets serious props for his vision to bring together over 1,000,000 believers in 1,900 churches. Together we are answering Jesus' prayer in John 17 for unity. Looking forward to it next year and will plan to use it a bit more strategically in the flow of the reality that is summer church life. (To wit, we've had a couple Sundays where there is a 100 person difference in weekend service attendance. Just crazy. I'm glad the church isn't who shows up on a given Sunday. By the way, in case you wonder, the church is God's people in relationship on God's mission for the world. They cannot be contained to an hour one time a week.)

After the message, we asked people to come forward and write the ways they have experienced God's goodness. It was moving. Then through the celebration of Eucharist/Communion/The Lord's Supper (pick your name based on how you grew up) we rehearsed God's goodness by remembering Jesus' death for us. God's presence was a tangible atmosphere in the room. I love those moments.

Here's a sampling of what people wrote (in the interest of authenticity, I kept the case and grammar the way they wrote it). Type a list like this when you know some of the stories, and I promise you won't be able to keep back the tears.

"Moved me home."
"Redeemed my life, rebuilt my relationship."
"He showed me love at this church."
"brought me here to the best people i've ever known and to him."
"He let me live when I should have died."
"invented ice cream"
"HE gave me PURPOSE!"
He gave me a new life
with my new partner
"No matter what He's never let go of my hand."
"He brought me out of sin and gave my kids back to me."
"He gave me an awesome family and strength to leave a bad

"Eric's home!"

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