Celebrating the birth of a church…

This is part of my journal entry for today…

June 13, 2012

31 years ago today was the first “service” of Lighthouse Christian Fellowship of Santa Cruz in our house on Brommer Street!  While I do my best not to wallow in nostalgia over this, especially now that LCF Santa Cruz is no more, I admit a sort of sadness, but do celebrate your goodness Lord! I’m reminiscing how you used a ragtag bunch of young disciples to do something that you wanted done at that time and for quite a few years, and I thank you for the privilege of being part of it. We had no idea what we were doing, how to go about your kingdom, how to treat people with love; but you did your thing in spite of us. I love you for it, Lord!

It’s the not the institution, the name on the door, the organization that should be so important to us, but the people with which we walk. Besides you and your glory, they’re the point. Today I remember them, my brothers and sisters with whom I tearfully labored and gladly danced! Of course building your kingdom is of supreme importance, but it’s the builders I remember today. Though we didn’t always get along or see things in the same way, we were – and still are – family. I’m stoked about even the ones who passed through a meteor on its way somewhere else, but were influenced by your touch on us. I still receive emails and calls from such people of whom I have no memory, thanking me for what was added to their lives in a brief moment.

Someday (please let it be a soon someday) we’ll all be together again, but not just us old friends and co-laborers of one group or another. How’s that going to work? Will we only know those who we know now, or will we know all? In a sense we’ve worked and prayed, wept and chuckled with all who’ve gone on before us. When we joined our churches, somehow we linked with the first followers and all the following followers. When we came to you we came to the “church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven.” When we chose you as savior we got a family with along with you, a much bigger and better one than we can know now, only later at the reunion will we see it for what it is.

That it’s “bigger” than we can conceive goes without saying. But “better,” I like the sound of that. We did our best here (sometimes we didn’t); most times our best wasn’t nearly good enough. I’ve often thought that I want on my headstone, “I tried.” But someday, our inadequate attempts will be compensated for with what you did in grace. We’ll be a perfect church then.  We’ll be a Body flawlessly commensurate with our Head, a Branch seamlessly grafted to the Vine, a Building whose walls will be sealed to contain your glory, and as your Bride we’ll finally radiate the beauty we’ve only imagined and you’ve patiently anticipated.

Thank you for the church we’ve been, the church we are today, and the church we’ll someday be!

2 Replies to “Celebrating the birth of a church…”

  1. Are you really planning on having a tombstone? If so, it will either need to be very large to accommodate all of the sayings you have ever said you want on there or you will need to narrow down your list considerably. Seriously, though, thanks for LCF; it remains one of the high points of our lives. Joe and Tammy


    1. Yeah, it’s either gonna be that or my definition of the gift of faith: “The sudden surge of supernatural certainty for a certain situation.” Or Justification: “God’s righteous way of righteousing the unrighteous with his righteousness.” Or best yet, “I’m not sinless, but I sin less (much less now)!”


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