The challenge and opportunity for us today is to gather for worship off-site, since our area is still under mandatory evacuation. The staff found a ball room at a local hotel and put the word out that we are gathering there today (Fess Parker Doubletree) for a service of Hope, Sharing and Healing.
What's weird is that this is the second time in less that 12 months that MCC has had to worship in evacuation due to fire. Our staff, in planning this service, referred to their old evacuation order of worship. How many evacuation services should a church be able to refer to, especially in one year.
But it's not just about us. Westmont College had to evacuate right on the weekend of baccalaureate and commencement. Many of the administration and faculty are members of MCC. They are both evacuated and exhausted. As I looked at the current evacuation map this morning, I mentally counted the families who are not able to return to their homes this morning, but do have homes to return to.
My prayer for us is that we catch the gospel opportunity this situation allows us. My prayer is that we, as leaders, are less concerned about narrating our own discomfort and more about mining what the Holy Spirit is saying. My prayer is that I do not revert into "pastor talk mode" and skim over the ragged edges that the fires of this week have exposed. My prayer is that some who come and attend, will find Jesus waiting for them, and not just a service. Come Lord Jesus come!