If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you’ll quickly catch on that I’m not one to look backward. I want to look forward. I want to see what God is doing on the horizon. But there is a healthy and appropriate way to look back in order to remember what God has done and where He has brought us.
At Veritas Community, we’ve only been officially around for a short time, since October 29, 2017. Since then there’s been a lot that’s gone on.
Boo on Ballard
This was a great time and a fun way to meet our community. Don’t get me wrong, seeing a thousand trick-or-treaters and their parents go by in a couple hours gets a little dizzying. But we were able to start the conversation with a couple people and tell the Wylie area about Veritas Community and Academy. We blessed the kids and their parents by helping to make the evening a really fun time.
Not long after (three days later) we celebrated our first official Sunday worship together. It was a bit chilly, but a memory I won’t ever forget. The group of pioneers that gathered that day were looking forward as well. They wanted to see what God would do in their midst and how God would use each of us for His purposes.
We celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by looking forward. God did something amazing through Martin Luther 500 years ago, but we know that He can do great things through us today. We shared in song, Scripture, and communion together. I tried out my new way of preaching, as a dialogue rather than a monologue, and it worked great.
After worship we shared in a meal (which was more like a feast) and celebrated what God is doing through this community. This was only the first of many times in worship together, and I can’t wait to see how God shapes and molds us as we go.
After taking some time to spend with our own families, we wanted to come together as the Family of God and invite people into the Family. It was one of our first times together in what we’re calling Gospel Communities and it was a great time together. We shared a meal (our leftovers) and shared what we’re thankful for.
Our goal with Gospel Communities isn’t to proclaim the Gospel everytime we get together, but to live out our Gospel rhythms of Blessing, Listening, Eating, Celebrating, Sharing the Story, and ReCreating. We invited friends into the group and lived out these rhythms with them in a memorable and meaningful time together.
The holidays were a great time to get rolling because it was easy to think up ways to get together, celebrate and prepare for Christmas. One of the people in our community came up with the great idea of making ornaments together. It was a great hit. With about 40 people hustling and bustling in our house, we made a big variety of ornaments.
The kids loved it. The adults loved helping the kids. And the adults loved seeing the kids be so focused and occupied on some fun productive activities. And as we were sitting around with busy hands we were able to still have conversation and get to know everyone better. It was a great time!
And after such a huge, fun time everyone was looking forward to a couple weeks later where we would Christmas carol in our neighborhood. But it was a bust. The weather was a typical Texas winter…cold and rainy. If it wasn’t just two days before Christmas we might have rescheduled it, but there wasn’t enough time. We kept the evening on track though and had a few friends over. We sung around the piano, drank some cocoa, and had a fun evening still. Even one of my younger guitar students helped accompany us on “Away in a Manger” that I had just taught him the day before. It was great!
I don’t know if I’d call it a failure, but it didn’t go as planned. It’s a good reminder that when things don’t go according to our plans it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t reign. He was still there. Jesus was glorified with our praises. He still blessed us and our time together. He doesn’t love or accept us less if it’s a “busted” event, and He doesn’t love us more if it’s a “success”. God’s love for us is based on His perfect, complete, and faithful work.
It’s good to look back, but I want to make sure that I’m still looking forward and seeing what God is about to do. There’s a lot of things we can see and I’m sure even more things that we can’t even dream of coming up this year. We’re starting Veritas Academy, a K-8 micro-school with an innovative, individualized and collaborative model of education. Because of that, we’re going to be finding a location for the school, where we’ll also meet for worship on Sundays, within the next couple of months. We hope to connect more with the people of Wylie, Murphy, Sachse and the surrounding areas to build relationships and connect with our neighbors.
Whether it’s through the school or just as individuals loving blessing our friends and neighbors we want to see God move this year. It’s not about our plans as much as it is about seeing the King of Creation do His thing. I’m sure I’ll be sitting here at this time next year and in awe of what He has done in 2018.