Come for the Fireworks, Stay for the Party

I shared a story yesterday with our congregation at Bay Hills (so for all of you who were there, you are excused)about an experience Beth and I had Saturday night. A friend of ours invited us to a party that one of the companies she works with was throwing. Every year a local radio station KFOG (you'll see the irony in a minute), has an event called KABOOM (more future irony) at which they have a concert and shoot off some serious fireworks from a barge in the bay. We were partying on a dock in Alameda (Port of Oakland) and had a great view of downtown San Francisco where the fireworks would be coming from. As it grew darker anticipation grew as well. We enjoyed the time of fellowship and listening to the two guys with guitars who were singing, not to mention the food was great. The time came when it was dark enough for a really great fireworks display. We tuned into KFOG, the cued the John Phillip Sousa music and the show began. We heard the kaboom, but we didn't see anything. Then the next kaboom but all we saw as a red glowing bank of FOG.

The famous San Francisco fog had rolled in while we were partying and blocked our view to the fireworks show. Once or twice we got to see some sparks peek over the top of the fog but we basically all went over to a fire they had built to warm up.

This got me thinking, though, about church. About what many experience every Sunday. You see we go to church, we see our friends, eat the donuts and drink the coffee. Then we sing the songs, clap, some dance, and we watch the funny video. Then the pastor comes up and we laugh and learn from his sermon. But all of that is just the party leading up to the fireworks and everyone has to see the fireworks or they leave unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and unchanged. What we must remember is that God is why we gather, He is the main event and we know that "where two or more are gathered" he's right there with us. But so often we experience everything but God...His presence...his healing...His Grace. Don't be the ones who are standing on the dock watching the fog light up, wondering what it must be like to be able to see the fireworks. Get on a boat and be where they are. Go to God and be where He is, experience the fullness of Love.

O, and never go to Oakland after dark.



Nate said...

What is wrong with Oaklans at night??



GiGi said...

You were looking for fireworks like on Red Mountain or Mobile Bay, weren't you? Maybe next time. Loved the irony and the message you took from it.