I am happy to report that our community breakfast this past Sunday was an incredible success. In all we fed about 250 people. People came from the apartment complexes next to and across the street from the shopping center and the neighborhoods surrounding our church. Some came from as far away as Mather. All left happy and well fed. I took great joy in approaching confused passersby, inviting them to eat breakfast, for free, and sharing with them that we are Cordova Neighborhood Church and we love them and were there to meet a need. I had very few people turn down my offer. Kids ran and played, smiles on their newly face-painted faces, pockets full of candy from winning the games we had for them. As I said it was a great morning. But if the morning was nothing more than food and fun I wouldn’t have called it a success.
Ultimately, the morning was a success because the Gospel went forth in word and deed. In deed, the Gospel was proclaimed that God changes peoples lives and turns us from self-seeking individuals to people of community who seek to love and meet the needs of others because we have seen God do that for us in the person of Jesus Christ. Every time we handed a plate of food to one of our neighbors, every time we cleared that same plate, every time we took the time to learn a name and say with sincerity “I’m glad you are here”, we were communicating that they are valuable and loved because we know our God declares that we are all valuable and loved.
Just as importantly, the Gospel went forth in word. I heard several stories of people having an opportunity to share the Gospel. I myself not only had the opportunity to share the Gospel but also to lead that person into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I meant it when I said that the morning was a great success.
I expect that for some, the breakfast was jarring, maybe even feeling wrong for a Sunday morning. It deviated from the pattern that we are all familiar with. I’ve spent 38 years knowing that, without fail, I wake up on Sunday morning and go to 10600 Coloma Rd, to Cordova Neighborhood Church, to worship God through song, prayer, and reflection on the Word. That pattern is ingrained in me and more importantly it is good and right to make time for those things. But that process should lead us to see that worship of God is more than what we do on a traditional Sunday morning. Care for those in need, sacrificing our own comforts for the good of others, removing barriers that block people from drawing near to God are acts of worship as well and are just as important to our God. The community breakfast is behind us, but this pattern of expanding our methods of worship so that in all ways we are glorifying our God and being salt and light to our neighbors is going to continue.
I am so thankful for everyone that participated. My sense is that every member of Cordova Neighborhood Church who came to the breakfast found a way to serve. We were living out the call to be the body of Christ, a diverse group unified on one goal. I am confident that God was glorified through our presence and service and the population of His kingdom grew. I expect that the harvest of this day will grow as time goes on and our worship of God beyond the walls of 10600 Coloma Rd will also grow. I can’t wait to see how God uses all of our means of worshipping him to do his mighty work.