Earlier this week I asked for some help in preparing for Sunday’s worship service. I reminded you that we’d be celebrating LPC’s 125th Anniversary and that worship would be centered on Psalm 103 and its refrain, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” We’ll also be introducing the immensely popular “10,000 Reasons” to our 8:30 and 9:45 services (already well known at the 11:30 service).
So, the question was, In what way has your life at LPC given you reason to sing God’s praise?
Not surprised (I know LPC!), but still overwhelmed, I added your answers to my long list – don’t know if I’ve reached my 10,000 quota yet – of reasons for my heart to sing. I heard from folks in every decade of life from the 20’s to the 80’s, men and women, new members (a lot of newer members!) and long-time members, as well. Mid-week I sent out a 10,000 Reasons sampler and some more of you responded. It’s still not too late. You may not hear your comment shared from the pulpit on Sunday, but it will be appreciated!
Themes of love, hope and belonging emerged. LPC is a place where people experience love from one another, but especially from the One who is love. They have experienced forgiving love and accepting love, healing love and saving love. Men and women, children and youth have come to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord at LPC. LPC is a place where God’s Word in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament is not just doctrinally affirmed as God’s Word, but loved as God’s Word.
LPC is a place where people are real enough to hope real hope. Struggles and pain, joys and accomplishments are freely shared. In the sharing of the shapes and contours of life defined by a gospel hope in all things made new, the possibility of that hope-filled life is not just seen, but made real.
At LPC belonging is not a box to be checked on the Sunday morning attendance pad. It is why among the 10,000 reasons to sing are those that come from many of you who declare LPC to be home, second family, real family. “I can be myself at LPC,” one of you said.
One of our anonymous responders said LPC has been the face of grace.
On Sunday morning you will receive another sampling of 10,000 Reasons, this time built around some of the themes of Psalm 103. And you will be encouraged to share with one another a few of the reasons your heart sings as we continue our celebration in the Grove.
So many of you have shared a reason or two for your heart to sing at and because of LPC. And what about me? It’s more than just ditto to all that’s been said (though it’s that, too). My heart finds reasons to sing God’s praise at and because of LPC almost every day. I won’t attempt to count all the ways, but among them:
- The joy of serving a congregation of men and women who delight in the Triune God and desire to know his Word.
- The privilege of being among a people who simply refuse to separate the sharing of God’s love into categories of word or deed. LPC is an amazing servant community that bears witness to the gospel in word AND deed.
- The reality of radical acceptance and an insistence that we must run the race all the way to the finish line. That is, no one is not welcome at LPC. Period. But once we become a part of the family, we find ourselves being encouraged and sometimes challenged to grow more and more into the people God calls us to be, putting aside old ways for the still more excellent new ways of Christ. Radical acceptance and high calling. Thank you for giving both to your pastor.
Six years or so ago, I received a phone call from a woman named Marilyn Franzi, the secretary of the Pastor Nominating Committee and Langhorne Presbyterian Church. I remember the conversation and I remember that I liked the sound of the voice at the other end of the line. What God has done in my life and Becky’s and my life since that call is just one more of the 10,000 reasons for my heart to sing.
LPC is not a perfect place. There may be reasons, perhaps a couple hundred, to be disappointed by our life together. But there really are 10,000 reasons for our hearts to sing God’s praise for the gift that LPC is to all of us.
See you Sunday
Oh, and if you haven’t sent me any of your reasons to sing – why not do so right now!