Shall We Gather?

I'd better get this in before there's another database connection error. Grrrr.

The scene behind the church this afternoon. It started raining, oh, sometime on Saturday and finally let up a little while ago. I saw on Facebook that we got around 15" of rain. Lots of flooding going on around here.

It rained almost all day long yesterday (Easter). I was pretty bummed because last year it was just so beautiful and bright outside. This year was dark and gloomy. Not the way I wanted to celebrate Easter. But, God was working on me and teaching me.

My mood is generally affected by numbers. And by numbers I mean weekly attendance and giving. It's not just my mood but my self-worth, understanding of calling, and all that. I wasn't fired up for Easter this year. I looked at the weather forecasts and knew that it would rain which meant that there wouldn't be as many people on Sunday morning. I was not happy. But, I noticed something as we began to worship yesterday. Suddenly, that concern and burden weren't there. I'm not entirely sure what God did in me, but I knew that as I got up to preach one of my weakest sermons of all time God was stripping away the self-focused concern about numbers. I cared more about clearly presenting the gospel to those gathered than the actual number of people who showed up. What a clear sign of grace to me and how grateful I was to have experienced it!

Slowly but surely, my heart is figuring out that my identity, self-worth, reputation, and all that are actually in Jesus and not me. I wish I figured out things a little more quickly but progress is better than stalling.