The Lights Were On
Friday, February, 19, 2016 | 11:43 AM | by Matthew Vandegriff
The Lights Were On
Friday, February 19, 2016
This Wednesday night, someone new showed up in the children's ministry hallway. He was looking around at the different places and people. He did not know what was going on or where to go. One of our adults came alongside him and asked his name -- Matthew, a fouth-grader who lives in a house on Franklin Drive. Matthew had noticed the lights on every Wednesday, and, for some reason, tonight, he asked his mom if he could walk to the church. In the building for the first time, Matthew found himself welcome into an open ministry of loving adults and caring peers.
What, for us, was another Wednesday night, was a first for him -- a courageous first step, an indelible first impression, a divine first encounter. He went from not knowing what to expect to singing words of truth to his own creator in Children's Choir. In RAs, he played dodge ball (nothing tells of God's love more than hurling projectiles at others), and he heard of the Gospel's power to save.
I was so thankful for how purposefully I noticed Jonathan caring for him -- for how deliberately our devoted choir workers and missions leaders included him -- and how naturally warm and accepting our kids were toward him. Life is busy. When you all decided to show up for your classes on Wednesday, you had no clue Matthew would be here. But, God had that clue. Your faithfulness matters -- eternally.
In 1 Timothy, Paul reminded his young friend that the Church of the Living God is a pillar and buttress of the truth. I'm glad we were that on Wednesday. I'm glad the lights were on. If Matthew ever wonders what God is like, I think he'll have a pretty decent starting point now. What we do here is consequential beyond our imaginings. Thank you, Brainerd Hills, for being a pillar and buttress of truth for Matthew.