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Open House and Community Party

May 27 2014
May 27 2014

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This past Sunday Redeemer Presbyterian Church had the blessing to hold our first worship service in our own permanent space. We enjoyed a wonderful time of celebration starting with worship services and followed by a reception with food, a band, cake and a lot of good conversations. We are overjoyed that we now have a place in the very heart of the city! But, in order to be a place, it must be inhabited. Generally speaking, this is one of the most important questions a church can ask: What does it mean to be present as a church in our very own place and in the space we inhabit in the city? This is something that Redeemer has been talking about for a long time, in fact, since we started 12 years ago. Still, to fully and properly answer this question it will take our church more time as we learn and find our purpose in our space at the heart of the city.

It's important that as we answer this crucial question we consider two resources. As Christians, we must consider the collective wisdom of sacred Scripture and as members of the community, we must learn from the very city that today we call home. If we are to be faithful in serving and participating in San Antonio, we must know its stories, its vernacular, and its culture. It is not surprising that when thinking on these things we find a theme of “Fiesta” in our city. We also read in the Bible that Jesus loved and enjoyed community gatherings or what we now refer to as a party! This got him in trouble with the expectations of the religious leaders of his day as we read in Luke 7:34. We clearly see this focus in his ministry as a subject in his teachings! We see it in his parables, as a picture of the kingdom (chapters 14 and 15 of Luke alone have plenty to show on this), even as picture of the consummation of time. This was evident also as the very context of his teaching: the wedding at Cana, meeting Zacchaeus, the last supper with his disciples, the context of the church itself, all the way from Acts and through the epistles.

While perhaps Christians are not known for being “party” people, it is clear that this needs to be an important subject and context for many of the things we do in our city. There’s no doubt that Jesus was one who loved community gatherings, both large and small. Evidently you don’t have to be a “party animal” to love a good party, but It is clear that Jesus loved to host people and to be hosted by them.

But why parties? Why community gatherings? There are many good answers to these questions, but the first idea to remember is that it all starts with a good host. God, as creator, has been hosting us to his kingdom since we first showed up in this broken world. We would do well to remember that parties are where community and fellowship take place and where we celebrate and where we can show that we care.

Well, it so happens that we already inhabit a city where a good party or “fiesta” is a big value. It is part of the very identity of our city and this is one of the many wonderful things that makes San Antonio a special city.

This all translates into one crucial thing: to be a Gospel-centered congregation in our city we must invite our community and neighbors to party, to celebrate the general goodness of our Creator, and the very beauty of our city. We are called to host, to provide a context to celebrate with our neighbors, a space for good conversations to flourish, and a safe place where relationships can be started and strengthened.

Of course a "fiesta" or a good "party" has to be more than simply an event or a scheduled gathering. It costs money, time, the willingness to endure through awkward moments, and trust in what happens when God is present, not only through us, but also in the Gospel.

This is the reason that Redeemer is inviting its members to host all our neighbors for our very own fiesta this Saturday, May 31st from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Redeemer’s Open House and Community Party and we will have bounce houses, a petting zoo, music, face painting, lots of food, and plenty of opportunities for good conversations, awkward moments, and the blessing to meet our new neighbors and to make new friends. So please join us and please sign up today as a volunteer!! Our hope is that many may find us to be like Jesus: good and friendly hosts, even in this city of many beautiful and wonderful fiestas.


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