All Saints East Dallas had its first Preview Service Sunday night. Two hundred adults and children came out to celebrate this new season of ministry, worship the Lord together, and witness the birth of a new community. It was fantastic having so many familiar faces from All Saints in Oak Lawn present to celebrate with us. It was truly a great night!
I’ve reflected quite a bit on Sunday night’s experience and all it implies. Hundreds of thoughts and scenarios have danced through my normally hurried stream of consciousness. And the one image that sticks with me the most is the way everything sounded in the room - how the church itself functioned as an instrument.
True, we had tremendous support from a top notch AV company in outfitting our sound system. And, true, Ryan Flanigan, Morgan Myers, and the band were exceptional as always in leading musical worship. But the room, the building, the actual space we worshiped in at Central Lutheran was just astounding. It’s like it was built just for the worship of God, exclusively for singing, praying, preaching, celebrating Holy Communion. It’s like the church is an instrument finely tuned and crafted specifically for the festivities that occurred there Sunday night. And, if it seems that way, it’s because it is that way. Church buildings are built for one thing. The worship of God. And when you worship God in them, they come alive. Something otherworldly happens.
This image is helpful when we think about the Church as it actually is - people. And, so in a similar way that this beautiful church building at 1000 Easton Rd in East Dallas has been constructed to house and resonate and enhance the worship of God Almighty, so also the Church that is people, that is flesh and blood - and yet the mystical communion of all those alive and dead in Christ - this Church is also built as a building, finely crafted and tuned for a specific purpose and role. This building is meant to house and resonate and enhance the worship of God as well. St. Paul says in Ephesians 2:22 that we are being “built together into a dwelling place of God by the Spirit.” And St. Peter says, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices” (1 Peter 2:5).
God is building His Church, friends. And together He is shaping and fashioning and forming us into a beautiful instrument set apart for a beautiful purpose, to be a “spiritual house…to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable” to Him, to be a “dwelling place of God by the Spirit.”
You’re in my prayers this week - I hope to see you at the next Preview Service.