Friday, April 13, 2012

Pastor's Perspective - He Wants His Church Back!

The older my 11-year-old son Sam gets, the more he continues to grab my heart and dredge deeper depths of joy in my life. He’s simply one great kid! Recently he made me think deeply about something several state lines away.

Last month on our 23-day trek across the United States and back, we stopped for a few days in San Antonio, Texas where we camped. My wife Michelle, a dedicated home schooling mom, had taught our four youngest about the Alamo in recent months, so we seized the opportunity to experience it in-person. We were not disappointed!

We began the drizzly day driving downtown and watching a very moving and well-produced IMAX production of the historic event, something I recommend everyone does before touring the actual site. I thought I had an understanding of the battle for the Alamo, but after watching the dramatic feature, I had known little. After the short film, you literally walk out of the mall exit downstairs and there it is!

The site is well-staffed, maintained and manicured. Likewise, unanticipated, it carries a high degree of reverence. It was after all - a church! Therefore, no hats, photos or loud disruptive noises.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the Alamo was a mission which in 1836 during a 13-day siege was defended by a relative few against a much larger Mexican army led by the determined General Santa Anna. Those few gallant defenders included James Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett. Ultimately the Mexican forces prevailed and the mission was recaptured by Mexico. However, the immense courage of the Alamo defenders inspired Sam Houston and his men to lead a campaign that ultimately took back the Alamo and won Texas its freedom.

After the movie and tour, we went back to the mall to let the kids meander through the gift shop. Lily bought a rubber Bowie knife (that’s our girl!), and Sam bought a toy replica rifle from the Alamo era. (Side note: For those reading and bristling, they’re our kids and we’ll mess them up any way we want!)

Later, back at the campsite, as I was trying-out my propane grill, the kids were running around the camper playing with their new weapons. I would count to ten as they hid, then, they would find each other and take each other’s lives – great fun for a ministry family on the road!

As Sam was running by me huffing and puffing, clearly enjoying shooting his sisters, I stopped him to ask, “Hey Sam, which one are you? General Travis or Davy Crockett?” His response almost made me drop my spatula! “I’m General Santa Anna!” he answered.

“What? Dude! Santa Anna was the ‘bad guy’!”

Sam looked at me and with great resolve replied, “Dad, he just wanted his church back.”

As he ran off to assassinate another sister, I thought about his response – “he just wanted his church back.”

Friends, Jesus Christ just wants His church back!

When we get our eyes off of Him and lose our hunger for His presence – the church becomes something He never intended.

This weekend I will be starting a new 8-week message series titled ‘Undercover Boss’. Over the course of the next two months we at First Christian will be going through Revelation 2-3, identifying seven characteristics Christ is specifically looking for in His church. I hope you’ll join us!

Remember the Alamo! And don’t forget also - Jesus Christ wants His church back.

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