It’s just a gym on a normal Sunday morning. Floor seats or Bleacher benches. The air is bursting with excitement. An anticipation coupled with a yearning for something different. I sat with my family on the bleachers. Our first church service in a Glendora middle school gym.
As the gathering was about to start, an influx of last-minute arrivals showed up. They were people who were helping outside, families that were catching up with friends in the parking lot, folks who took a little time to pace up the walkway. Music began to fill the air, but something else excited the hearts. In the midst of worshipping Jesus, the congregation also watched serving hands set up new chairs for those who were standing to find a seat.
I saw voluntary sacrifice today. I saw people taking bleacher benches in order to defer the more comfortable floor seats to others. I watched teams of servants executing their contingent plans to accommodate the crowd. Most people didn’t come, expecting a polished church experience. No. We came because we believe. We believe that church should be a place to transform us into servants, ready to sacrifice our comfort for the sake of others, and for the glory of our King.
Christianity is based on sacrificial love that compels followers of Jesus to act. We sign up to do the stuff that Jesus does. We get enlisted to participate in the works of His Kingdom, instead of just sitting around to be entertained. Our lives should be different because we are more willing to be “inconvenienced” by taking steps of faith.
I thank God for those who work behind the scenes tirelessly. It’s been an incredible journey for them, I imagine. Their initial deposit of “sacrifice” sets the culture for this 2-week old baby called Real Life. Now, let the rest of us step up. Let’s be like Jesus together.
Today I renew my commitment to be part of this church’s collective, tangible expressions of yielding and surrendering for the greater good. Sacrifice is our act of worship to Jesus. Sacrifice is what constitutes the “aroma” of worship that reaches the heavens — that touches the heart of God.