Joshua spoke: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
Traditionally, Minnesotans have thought of summer as a “slower” time of the year. What a misnomer that is especially at this “house” we know as Zion Lutheran of Buffalo.
Zion is a household filled with people who serve the Lord. It is amazing to see the many ways that manifests itself. A glimpse of one “slow” summer day at Zion reveals exactly what I mean:
Today, we have teens here. They could be lounging at the lake. Instead, they are here giving of their time, energy, and muscles to help transform the courtyard area. Digging, laughing, and working hard. This fall we will officially re-dedicate the courtyard and give thanks to God for the beauty of this outdoor space. We will also give thanks to God for all involved in the care of that space over these many years. The whole project is a cross-generational joy to see unfold.
While they are busy sweating outside, there is a group inside this “house” that serves the Lord working through the details for an upcoming funeral. Logistics are an important piece of our hospitality ministry for grieving families and friends. The joint effort between staff and Zion members makes this “house” hum with care, hope, and a picture of how life should be: caring for one another and sharing one another’s burdens.
At the same time, we have guys up on the roof checking out some glitches in the air conditioning system, which shows a different but important kind of hospitality for visitors, members, and the staff; especially on one of the hottest days of the year!
As I hear them up on the roof, out of my office window I can see community members making their way into our building. They come to Zion to receive a gift of diapers to help them financially (did you know that a box of diapers costs $50 today!?). And although the diapers help financially, another message is sent with the box: there are others who care about you and your family. And still another message: this is a house that serves the Lord by serving others.
While all of this is happening, the staff is busy finalizing plans for the fall and all that entails. One of our organists is rehearsing for Sunday morning, a member drops off clothes for the Blessing Closet, and another member stops by with a delicious summer treat for the staff, our financial team is paying bills, I’m researching for a sermon, the lawn is being mowed, the phone is ringing, and there are more people who come to help pull weeds.
There is more: the Personnel Committee will meet yet tonight, the Youth Group will meet, and the Call Committee is finalizing plans for the Bishop’s visit to Zion. All of it: serving our Lord and giving glory to God.
While all of this is taking place in the “house”, you are outside of this house making an impact for Jesus in all the ways you serve outside of these walls: at work, at your own home, while you are shopping for groceries, swimming at the lake or the pool, playing golf, and on and on. Because being a “House that Serves the Lord” isn’t confined only to our building and grounds. We are a house and a household because we are a group of people bonded together by the head of our household, Jesus Christ. And we each serve the Lord in our own spaces beyond these walls, which is just how Jesus would have it.
The New Living Translation of 1 Chronicles 16:29 reads: “Give the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.” Everything I have described taking place on this “slow” summer day does just that. When we shine the light of Jesus into this world, we (this house/household) are “Giving God the glory he deserves”.
Thanks be to God for slow summer days!