I moved to Dallas six years ago. On June 24, Amy, the kids, and I rolled into town in two separate cars. I’ll never forget the song the boys and I were listening to. I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing the skyline and thinking, “this is my home.” We navigated our way to our townhouse and promptly went to Central Market. I’ll never forget walking around in my Florida Young Life shirt and flip flops feeling out of place in Texas, my home state. That same day marked the beginning of 45 consecutive 100+ degree heat. And, I’ll never forget being overwhelmed psychologically by the seemingly inescapable heat of the city.
As I reflected recently on our six years here, I realized that, even though I remember so many little details about our first days here in the city, absent from my mind was the multitude of God’s intricate work in our midst. I had forgotten many of the amazing things God had done.
We came to help All Saints Dallas, a church plant that had been meeting about two months on a weekly basis. We jumped into community, and God grew that community. We moved into a more permanent, Sunday morning location on Oak Lawn. About a year after that we launched a second service, and God grew that community. But it wasn’t just numerical growth. There was a deep sense of transformation and excitement about everyone.
And God began to stir in our hearts a vision for East Dallas. Over time, he put the pieces in place - the people, the dreamers and worshipers and intercessors who would gather, work, and worship to see God’s vision unfold. The plan, beginning this church plant as a parish or subdivision of All Saints Dallas with a view towards it growing into its own church. And the hope - the hope that God would establish for himself a community in and for East Dallas, a place where the risen Lord Jesus might draw to himself the tired, weary, worn, and disenfranchised, and re-make them in his image and likeness. And God has grown this community. He has built - and continues to build - his Church. And, it’s not just a numerical growth. When I look at people’s faces on Sundays or throughout the week, I see and celebrate in each one of you a deep sense of transformation and excitement.
As I reflected on the arch of the past six years, God’s gracious guiding was so clear. And another thing was abundantly clear. I have been so quick to forget. Join with me in remembering God’s faithfulness, his goodness, his tender compassion and mercy to each one of us. We taste of it each Sunday in Holy Communion. We behold it in one another as we grow in community. And we testify to it in our own lives as we look back and see his gracious goodness at work in us.