“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. (John 1:46)
There’s a funny story a friend of mine tells about the first time he visited our church. He came as a bit of a skeptic and had warned his girlfriend as they approached what to expect. He had some preconceived ideas about what he would find at OFC. Here is a paraphrase of his story.
“As we walked up toward the doors, I remember being greeted by a handsome, well dressed, six foot two, black haired man with a huge smile on his face. I assumed it was the pastor and told my girlfriend that. He extended his hand in greeting and I shook it. ‘Nice guy,’ I thought. After we entered, I looked around the room. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw how many of my friends from my past life were there. I’m sure they were as surprised to see me as I was them. Apparently this place attracted people like me. All ages and all kinds of people seem to make up the crowd at OFC. Off to my left, I noticed one guy kind of lingering in the shadows. I’m not sure why he caught my eye, but he did. I specifically remember thinking, ‘He’s rough, but he’ll make it here if he keeps coming.’ With that, we found our seats and the service began. When it came time for the message, I waited for the handsome, six foot two, black haired guy to walk to the pulpit. Instead, the guy from the shadows walked up and began to preach. ‘Okay,’ I thought, ‘this might be different.’ And it was.”
I love OFC for a lot of reasons: the life change that happens, the powerful worship services, the Body of believers who faithfully serve Jesus and consequently love each other. One of the things I like most is hearing how surprised people are by what they find when they attend. May the Body of Christ always be a place of transforming grace. I love the church!