10 years ago today I posted on Facebook “Don is calling tomorrow a pivotal day in his personal history.” I did not know then, just how true that statement would be. But I did NOT know just how misguidedly narrow that statement would prove to be.
That first meeting of ReCAST Church has proven to be pivotal in my personal history. But it also proved to be that start of something that would impact the lives of many people in the Mattawan area.
Tomorrow is first and foremost Good Friday. It is an important day for the global church. Many will get together and remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the remission of sins. Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus was nailed to a Roman cross. He willingly took upon Himself the wrath of His Father, so that the penalty for the sins of His people would be paid. God could remain just and holy. And we could be set free since our sins were paid for by Jesus. At ReCAST we will gather to celebrate this most significant of days.
Secondarily, tomorrow is the ten year anniversary of ReCAST Church. Ten years ago we gathered together with about 30 people (more kids than adults). I preached out of Ephesians 1 (my first sermon as a lead pastor). We had a video curriculum for the kiddos. We took communion together. And ReCAST Church began.
I wrestled for a while on whether or not to abandon a celebration of our 10 year birthday for fear that it might detract from the glory of Good Friday. But the more I considered the place where the cross and the church come together, the more my eyes were opened to a false dichotomy in my heart.
Which is more valuable in God’s eyes, the local church or the cross of Christ? When I asked myself this question I realized how silly and petty my concerns had been. Christ died to produce churches! His cross is the reason a community of worshipers exists that we call ReCAST Church. Another way of stating this is that ReCAST Church is a community of the cross of Jesus.
The cross of Christ is the foundation of our gathering. His sacrifice for us has brought us together. We are not a community of rockin’ worship, even though Dave brings it. We are not a community of excellent children’s ministry, even though Ginger is running an excellent program. We are not even merely a community centered on the preaching of the Word, as much as I seek to bring truth each week. The fundamental thing that defines us, builds us, and brings us . . . Is the cross of Jesus Christ.
We are the redeemed. Redeemed how? Redeemed through the cross of Christ. So tomorrow we will gather. We will eat food. We will read the account of the crucifixion. We will consider the way that the cross has produced our church community. And we will celebrate the history of what God has done in our brief little history here.
And we will worship God and give Him the glory for it all. He has built a church here in Mattawan. And he has done so, by bringing together people of the cross. I look around each Sunday and I see people who would have very little affinity with one another were it not for Jesus. What do we have in common? The cross! And it has been a privilege to see the cross build a church year by year. Through good times and difficult times, we have lifted the cross high. But that is not entirely true . . . All the time we thought we were lifting the cross, it was truly the cross that was lifting us.