Slowly, rhythmically they pushed the tree. After a few seconds the dead tree groaned and then leapt toward the carpeted forest floor. Its contact with the dirt was sudden. I could feel it in my bones. It was a deep, resonate sound, both flat and intense. The shock wave swept through me. It was very satisfying.
Even if no human had been there, the forest would hear the sound. The leaves rustled as the trunk passed-almost like an honor guard. The grass riffled and then fell silent. The birds paused and then returned to their songs. The insects almost immediately went to work breaking the wood down into smaller bits. This tree would feed the forest for many days to come.
What happens when we are not around? The echo of our lives fills the air.
Over the past several years we have been turning parts of our buildings into opportunities for the message of our church to be heard when we are not around the building.
We added a clock to the steeple tower reminding people that every day is precious and time is moving toward God's coming day. We should make use of the time.
We added special lighting to the steeple (which will be reconnected and working when the renovations are completed). Several people who were skeptical after seeing the lights on special occasions becomes champions of the lights. They will become a way to celebrate our town. We want people to know that our church is proud to be at the center of our community.
We added our Mañana Today banners. It is important to us to tell our community that we have a bilingual church where everyone is welcomed. Since the elementary grades are overwhelming bilingual, any church that wants to be relevant in this community must have a plan for reaching all of Athens.
The new letters above the columns allow us to lift high our three great values. Love God, Live Like Jesus, Serve Others. For the first time, people who come to our building will immediately know something about us. How great is it to have the name of Jesus high above our town? Jesus said, "when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself" John 12:32. I'm so proud that our church stands for these three things and that everyone who sees our building will know that is what we say.
Our lives will give evidence if what we say on our buildings is true in our lives.