As I announced last week, this Saturday, April 28, will be the launch date for St. Timothy & St. Athanasius (STSA) Coptic Orthodox church. Somehow – even though we’ve been planning for this launch date for several months now – it wasn’t until yesterday that it all hit me and I became overwhelmed with several feelings.
I felt a sense of THANKFULNESS– because God has chosen me for this mission and is allowing me to be His “fellow worker” in a new field of mission – a mission that I know is very dear to His heart. I also felt a sense of RESPONSIBILITY– because I know God is planning on doing huge things through this church and I know that my ability to discern/obey His voice is more important now than it’s ever been in the past.
But most of all – more than any other feeling – I felt an overwhelming sense of EXCITEMENT!
Forgive me for being overly dramatic here, but I believe that one week from today the world won’t be the same. It will never be the same after April 28, 2012. Arlington, VA will never be the same.
And since Arlington – which is just outside of DC – is the residence for many of the people who work in DC, I will go out on a limb here and say that Washington DC will never be the same either. And since the people working in DC are the ones who run the United States of America, I am going to take it a step further and say OUR BELOVED NATION may never be the same again!
I know, I know. I’m being overly dramatic, right? Well maybe. But hey, I’d rather aim for the stars and miss by a few feet as opposed to settling for less than what God wants. Thomas Merton once said “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little."
I don’t want to put limits on what God can and will do. Our God is a great big God and He promises to work mightily in His church and through His servants (see John 14:12) so I will never be caught aiming too low.
But why specifically am I so excited? What am I expecting to happen?
This morning I was reading my Bible and I came across this verse, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).
To put this verse into theological and dogmatic terms, I’d say this: the Incarnation of Christ was BIG STUFF! Big, gigantic, ginormous, HUGE STUFF!!!
We take for it for granted because we’ve heard it so often. But realize that if God never took flesh, we wouldn’t be able to know Him – at least not the same way we know Him now. God took flesh in order to reveal Himself to us in a way that we could comprehend.
Why? Because God is INCOMPREHENSIBLE. That means that He is too big to be seen or understood or grasped. Moses wanted to see God one time and God told him, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20). God speaking to man is like Einstein speaking to a 1st grader – unless he dumbs it down a notch or two, the 1st grader will never be able to understand what he is saying. He has to find a way to meet the 1st grader at his level. God did that times infinity!
So the Incarnation took an incomprehensible God and made Him down to earth (literally). The Incarnation took a ginormously huge God and made Him small (a tiny little baby). The Incarnation took a God who could never be known or seen by His creation and made Him very very real and very tangible and very know-able.
THAT IS WHY I AM EXCITED ABOUT STSA!
That is the goal of this Church (and should be the goal of every church). The goal of the Church is to take an incomprehensible God, who cannot be seen nor comprehended, and make Him very real and very tangible and very "know-able".
With that said, I am not saying our job is to make God real. HE IS REAL. Our job is not to make God tangible. HE IS TANGIBLE. Our job is not to make God relevant. God is more RELEVANT today than ever before. Our job is to not make God any of those things, but rather to REVEAL these characteristics to the world around us who hasn’t experienced them.
That is why I am super excited about STSA. I feel like this Church is another Incarnation. The Incarnation is when God visited us in human form. I am excited for April 28 because I believe God is going to visit Arlington/DC in a very real/tangible form. And when He comes, He will reveal to everyone in the area that He is so relevant to their lives – relevant in a way that they might never have imagined before.
That’s why I’m excited. How about you?
Discussion: Are you excited about the launch of St. Timothy & St. Athanasius church? Why?