What a great celebration we had this past Sunday as we began a new chapter in the life of Creekside. It was a wonderful morning of worship, of fun, of welcoming, expecting and dreaming. Even the long days of work leading up to Sunday were enjoyable times where memories were created. I was so encouraged by how many people invested time and energy to make Sunday possible. If you had the opportunity to visit the new building at our open house on January 20th you know the amazing transformation that has taken place in a very short period of time — all in the two weeks leading up to Sunday. Even though we know that the transformation is not complete and that there is still lots of work to do, let’s celebrate the goodness that we are experiencing.
God has been with Creekside since our beginning. Through ups and downs, highs and lows, God has been and will continue to be faithful. A new chapter is the perfect time to reengage in the question of the why? Why do we do what we do? Why does Creekside exist? How did you find your way to Creekside? Why did you come this past Sunday? Why did you volunteer to help us get ready? What is next for you? What is next for Creekside?
Jesus said something really interesting. In describing what it was like to follow him, he asked and invited, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28–30 The MESSAGE) There are so many people around us who, if they could believe these words, would flock to Jesus. There are so many people longing for rest, longing for a life that could be described with words like free and light.
Unfortunately, for many, Christianity has been defined not as a freeing from the weight of an overburdened life, but the adding on of additional burdens. The adding on of burdens was never part of Jesus’ message. It was never the message of the Old Testament prophet’s who spoke of the coming Kingdom of God, “come and eat, come and drink, enjoy good food and wine, it’s all been paid for.” Our move is an amazing opportunity to reclaim the story. Do you know someone who might find a promise of rest, freedom and lightness inviting? I suspect you do. Could it be you? Could it be your neighbor? Could it be the hundreds of new neighbors we inherited when we moved? Who do you know that might be missing out on the life that God has planned for them?
Jesus invites everyone to this kind of life, a way of life that transforms us and empowers us to transform the world. On Sunday I said that the Church is called to be a countercultural, revolutionary, resistance movement that is marked by peace, joy, hope and love, and lived out by broken and messed up people who are being transformed by Jesus so that they can transform the world one little space at a time. The idea is that the Kingdom of God moves into the current kingdoms of darkness. As we begin to follow Jesus we are invited into a better way, a way of rest but also a way of significance. It is a way that frees us from conformity to the broken patterns of our culture, empowers us to resist, and to speak out, but to do so not as the world resists and revolts, but as people marked by the character of Jesus.
Come, come, come. Come to the well and drink. Come to me all you who are weary. Come all who are thirsty. Come find real abundant life, more and better life than you ever imagined, here and now and forever when you die. Be freed from the striving, the burden, the weight.
Who might be missing out?
Peace, hope and love