Days like these are really cool for me. Tonight I am leading a table at the Village Covenant Membership classes. My human nature is to think of it as just another class, but the Holy Spirit is faithful to remind me of just how big this class is. I remember more clearly than anything else one particular Saturday in May of 2007. It was the day that Jesus became real to me; my reason for living and the very One who provides life itself. I love how the author of Hebrews describes who Jesus is:
"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs."
On that day, Jesus Christ, the EXACT imprint of God's nature became my Savior.
So, after this happened of course my life began to change radically. Transformation began and my lifestyle started to change. My faith was so raw, so authentic. I didn't know very much, but I knew that Jesus was enough for me, all that I needed. I remember being in the shower at Toby Mile's house (I know, too much info but hey, this is how I remember it) and thinking that nothing could ever shake me; sure there would be great tragedies, deaths, dissapointments, betrayals and everything else that comes along with a broken world, but with Christ as my rock all these temporary and fleeting things seemed so trivial. After all was said and done in this quick vapor of life, I was going to spend eternity with the Creator, Author and Sustainer of life. The feeling that coarsed through my veins at that moment was something I had never felt before. It was supernatural, to say the least.
So there I was in Dallas, not knowing anybody besides casual acquaintances that I met at the Village when I would go by myself. After spending 24 years of my life away from the church and having a stereotypical opinion of what a "Christian" was, I was very hesitant to hang out with them. Actually, the thought of having them as friends scared the hell out of me. But I had all of this fire in me and knew it needed to be shared. I had questions that needed to be answered with something other than, "You just gotta have faith." The Bible screams that we need to have community.
Okay, to the the point. All of this to say that I signed up for the Membership Class shortly after that. I'm not gonna lie, I was kinda freaked out. I still really didn't know how people would react when they heard where I had been, all of the stuff that I had been through. It was a weird and exciting moment walking into that class. Weird because, like I said, I spent 24 years of my life living a certain way and doing certain things. And exciting because I had just been drastically saved by grace through faith, and I couldn't shutup about it. I had other believers to share it with. My table leader was kind of a goofy fella, but he made me feel so comfortable. In fact, he had walked through a lot of the same things that I had and had such confidence in the forgiveness of God. He loved genuinely and was unashamed of the gospel. He had such an impact on me, because i didn't know what to expect. He didn't have to spend so much time with me and answer all of my questions....but he did. With a smile. He later became my sponsor through the Step Studies in Recovery. We laughed together, cried together (alot), broke bread together, ate good food and drank good wine together.....all to the praise of His name. A couple of months ago he was a groomsman in my wedding. I love Lance Colwill like a brother, and God was extremely gracious and merciful to put him in my path when I was a new believer with tons of questions and even more skepticism.
So tonight is exciting for me. It's not just a class, its an opportunity to show the love of Christ to others. Its a chance to just be in His presence, not worry about all of the tiny things that distract us and weigh us down. I get a chance to just love on these guys, some who might be new christians that I can encourage. Some might be 30 years into their walk and I will be able to soak in some of their wisdom. Some might not be believers at all, and I might have the opportunity to show love, compassion and grace and let them know they won't be judged by us, but rather served. I love nights like these, because they are proof that the love of God doesn't stop when it invades a human soul. It moves from person to person. Praise His name that He is among us and hasn't left us to ourselves. Who knows, maybe I will be able to be a Lance Colwill to somebody through this.