At Cities Church we have three essentials. That’s what we call them. There are three things that we really really care about. They are first, Jesus, second, one another, and third, the Cities.
And we say it this way:
- we worship Jesus
- we serve one another
- we seek the good of the Cities
And for this last one, we seek the good of the Cities, there is a wide gamut as to what that is getting at. Ultimately, what we mean here is that we want to be a gospel witness to the people we encounter and get to know in all the places we live, work, and play. We want to tell others the good news of Jesus. That’s the ultimate goal in view, and then there are little steps and pieces along the way, like saying hey to people, and smiling at neighbors, and raking some leaves up outside your own yard, and basically, just being hospitable. We want to be welcoming neighbors. We want to be that house on the block where kids can play without their parents worrying. We want to be that house that waves at every person that walks by. All that.
That is part of shining your gospel light. And one of the greatest opportunities to do this kind of work is tomorrow night, October 31, on Halloween. And here’s why: Without getting into the details of Halloween and its history and what it’s supposed to be (which isn’t bad), let me just tell you what is going to happen tomorrow night. . . .
People, maybe lots of people, mostly kids, are going to come to your house, knock on your door, and hope that you give them something good. And my exhortation to our church is that, indeed, you give them something good. This is the one time a year when it is culturally acceptable to give sugar to children you don’t know. So, by God’s grace, let’s give them sugar. If you’ve already purchased little bags of mini-pretzels to give away, you should repent. Just this one time a year, give them a full-size Snicker’s bars. Give them a can of ice-cold Sprite. Give them something good that makes them want to come back to your house next year, and while you’re at it, meet their parents. Maybe have a warm drink to give the adults. Set up a dinner or next event to connect in the future. Basically, here’s the thing: don’t let tomorrow night pass without in some way using it to take a step toward seeking the good of the Cities.
Prayer of Confession
Father, we confess that the biggest hurdle in seeking the good of these Cities is that we spend most of our energy in seeking the good of ourselves. Rather than think of how we might use our gifts and resources to bless others, we tend to only think of how our gifts and resources might be used to make us more comfortable. We are a cozy people, Father. We are, at least on the surface, a secure people, but you know, better than we, whether we have found that security in you or in the mirage of our ease. And we confess, Father, that to find our security there is sin. To look for our strength in anything besides you is sin.
And so we repent. Forgive us, Father, and we ask, in this time of confession, for you to search us, O God, and know our hearts. Try us and know our thoughts. See if there be any way in us that is contrary to your gracious will, and lead us in your everlasting way. We want more of you, please. We want more of your grace, and more of your gospel to overcome our lives. So take us there, even now as we confess our sins to you in silence. . . .
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7)