As we sat with a handful of Angolan refugee brothers and sisters in their thatch and mud shelter - the remnant of this church after many had been repatriated to Angola - we remembered the vibrant past of this congregation with nostalgic sadness. Why can't things stay the same; why must change come?
In my "growth & results" Western culture, I sometimes fail to perceive what is going on around me through the eyes of Jesus. Jesus lived in a time of great change - certainly in a time that "ministerially" would not have been characterized as successful. But He saw the hand of God amidst the change - change as devastating as the destruction of earthly Jerusalem - and looked to the "Kingdom that cannot be shaken".
The dear remnant of the Road 1 church of Christ will soon cease to be a congregation as they face being returned to their homeland. But as they "offer service well-pleasing to God" - hopefully planting the church wherever they are placed - and bravely face the changes around them, they can "come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem". That sounds pretty successful!
"And this (word), Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain."
Hebrews 12:27 ASV (quotes taken from same chapter)
Congregations are born and congregations pass away, but our faith is in the reunion of "the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in Heaven"... which shall never pass away!
We will miss them,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, and Bryson