Today I feel as if I have slogged through a storm water drainage pipe. Not only am I physically wiped out but I'm also emotionally drained. The reason is that another evangelical church has been returned to dust. The good people of Martha Lake Covenant Church (MLCC) put their minds, souls, and bodies, in to keeping the church and the Awana program alive. But yesterday, after 70 years of faithful ministry, the church was disbanded--each member to go their own way.
Vanity. Vanity it is all vanity as I remember from Solomon's lament in the book of Ecclesiastes. As it was with Solomon, God didn’t agree with my vision for the church. For six years, as a member of the church, my prayer partner, Kay, and I prayed every Tuesday for our families, the church, our country and the world. I thought God would bring to MLCC Christian refugees from countries where Christians are persecuted. We were encouraged when one man, who had moved to the United States 20 years ago, from Iran, joined us.
Others thought that after the new condos were built across the street from the church that those people would join. We served free food. We had “Narnia” nights. We offered free concerts. We had some visitors but few stayed. We put new carpeting and paint in the nursery. We sent post cards. I don’t remember what all. With the Awana program and the Vacation Bible Schools we had good attendance but not many came back on Sunday.
God has different plans and higher plans than we do. Maybe what God had in mind for us was remaining faithful for a time, to learn perseverance, or even to learn how to suffer for Christ.
I was encouraged by Pastor Bill’s final sermon. He exhorted us to go out and make disciples, baptize, and teach. This is how we live a life of significance. He also gave us an encouraging quote from C.S. Lewis--"now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.
We may morn and weep at the closing of our church for a while -- but joy comes in the morning. Some day God will show us how our prayers for the church, and good works done by many, have made a difference in countless lives for Jesus, and that we have lived a life of significance.