On the evening of Sept. 10 I shared the Annual Report of the church at a lovely dinner gathering of church leaders. If you would like a peek, you can find it here. I’m tickled that we produce an annual report because it’s good to pause and look back and see how we are doing financially, numerically, programmatically. Did we accomplish our goals? Is all our busyness really propelling us closer to our vision? It’s also a good time to pat ourselves on the back. We should feel good about the 16,800 home-baked cookies we served and the 11, 537 meals we served to food insecure neighbors in KC. And we should remember where we missed the mark.
And at the same time, I feel kind of funny reducing what we do to a numbers game. Jesus said to forgive 70 times seven but other than that, he doesn’t dwell on the numbers. He never swaggers about how many folks heard his Sermon on the Mount or how many folks John the Baptist baptized. Although he seemed pretty excited about feeding the 5000! Mostly though, he chases after the one lost sheep, one lost coin, one woman at the well, one blind man, or the two common criminals on either side of him as he breaths his last on the cross.
So the bigger measure of our faith is harder to count or tally. Have we been filled with God’s spirit and have we accomplished Gods justice? Have we loved with greater measure or forgiven 70 times seven? Does our participation in a group of Christians shape us?
So what I wish you would do this week, and I will do it too, is to take a few moments to look back at your own journey in the last 12 months and ask yourself and the living God: Have I hit the marks I set for myself in terms of spiritual growth? Only you know what goals were written on your heart by God. Perhaps to express your faith in community service or to dive into a Bible study or to pray more regularly. Maybe to worship more faithfully or to read a book that expands your intellectual grasp of God’s wide mercy. Or simply to slow down and spend more time with people you love who reveal the face of God. I don’t know. But you probably do. And how shall we measure that unquantifiable grace of God poured out on us? Do our lives reveal the living Christ?
With grace and peace,