I get excited about a lot of things that have happened and are happening at the Lockport Campus, but Sunday July 24th has the potential to be my favorite memory to date.
On Sunday you will find the church parking lot empty here at the Lockport Campus because we are leaving the church and heading just 5 minutes down the road to a local school. Not to have service, but to serve.
Over 200 people have signed up to wash, scrub, mow, weed, paint, and do whatever we can to be a blessing to the Fairmont District School. An underprivileged school and neighborhood minutes form our campus. A neighborhood we hope to show the love of Christ to for an extended period of times.
For all of us as Christians it is vital if not essential to our walk with Christ to put our Faith into action. I believe James the brother of Jesus would agree.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?” – James 2:14.
“But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” - James 2:18
It’s important to stop and remind us all that our Faith in Christ is not determined by what we do. It is determined by what Jesus did and our complete and utter surrender to Him as our Lord and Savior. There is not enough “stuff” that we could do, say, or give to make up for the sin that separated us from God. Only the work of Jesus on the cross could pay the price for that debt. So our Faith…our hope…our salvation is found in Christ and Christ alone.
However, the way we demonstrate the redemptive power of Jesus in our lives is by our actions. How we live, act, steward, and care for those things and people around us in response to the way Christ has called us to live. Demonstrating our Faith in our deeds.
The Church leaving the building is an example of showing our faith, gratitude, and devotion to Christ by our deeds. By tangibly becoming the hands and feet of Christ we are putting into action all that we hear on Sunday for at least an afternoon. The hope is that this will begin to not only ripple the love of Christ into the community we are impacting, but also ripple out in other areas of our lives.
Of course there is always the more “popular” option of not doing anything with your Faith. Its’ the option most of us choose by hiding our Faith deep down in the “private life” compartment of ourselves. The compartments that we never talk about and aggressively protect, but will one-day dust off and sheepishly present to God in its atrophied state as we stand before Him.
This may be the saddest part of the Christian’s existence, because by hiding our Faith we never really live. When we do this, the Spirit you have been given by Christ when you accept Him as Lord and Savior is being stifled in your soul like a genie in a bottle. Except this stifled Spirit does more than grant you 3 wishes or a magic carpet ride. This Spirit was given to you to experience the true fullness of life that God intended.
“As the body without spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” - James 2:26
This event for our Campus is not about “Hey look at how great we are as Christians!”, but rather humbly serving and saying “Hey look how awesome God is and because of that we can’t help but want to give back to Him out of love.” It’s about a Campus that can’t help but serve because of how much God has given us.
My prayer for you wherever you may be reading this, is that you start experiencing the life God has intended for you all along. To do this, we all need to take start taking what we hear on Sunday’s and put into action on Monday. This is truly how the Church will leave the building every week as it’s lived out in our lives on a daily basis!