by: Dr. Tom Pace
It is an important discipline to say, every day, “my cup runneth over.” Today is one of those days when it is easy.
My cup runneth over with gratitude: I am so grateful to the hundreds of people who made the completion of these new facilities possible. On behalf of all the people of St. Luke’s, thank you to the Long Range Planning Committee, the Building Committee, the What If… Capital Campaign Committee, the Grand Opening Celebration Committee, the professional teams of architects and contractors and consultants, and the best church staff anywhere, all of whom worked hard for a long time to bring this to reality. I am incredibly grateful to this congregation. You all were incredibly generous in sacrificial giving to make this possible. And most of all, I am thankful to God for the privilege of doing ministry with all of you in this place, and for what God has done and will do in the lives of people in this community.
My cup runneth over with dreams of what is yet to be. We still must have a What If … mentality. In the campaign, we quoted Emily Dickinson: –“we dwell in possibility.” The possibility in which we dwell wasn’t more bricks and mortar. Instead, we asked “What if we had amazing worship that was heard far away?” “What if we launched a whole generation of Christians into the future to change the world?” “What if hope had an address in Southwest Houston, and we became an epicenter for renewal for Sharpstown/Gulfton?” “What if we were filled with the fullness of God? And most importantly, “What if the whole congregation were united in an effort to reach our city for Christ?” God has helped us to take some steps forward, but the vision for which we strive is as of yet fully accomplished. We cannot stop thinking What If…
My cup runneth over with anticipation of greater commitment and hard work. Jesus uses an image that is helpful: think of the city of Houston as a field that can produce a marvelous harvest. You and I are farmers. The good news of Jesus’ Kingdom are the seeds we are to sow. What we did with these facilities is buy a new tractor and a new plow, and maybe even a new combine harvester. These tools will make a huge difference in the work we do. But… we still have to do the work. We still have to get up early every morning and work the fields until we are worn out and it is dark. Sometimes, we may have to even plant by hand, one seed at a time. We still have to be the good news and tell the good news to the world around us.
So my cup is filled to overflowing today. It reminds me of the theme passage for our What If… campaign:
I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” –Ephesians 3:18-21