You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
I often think of these words from Jesus at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount. That sermon was His first big opportunity to speak to the masses about a revolutionary idea. For some reason these verses inspire me when I think about how we use our Beautiful Savior facility to fulfill our mission and vision. It is important for us to be the light of Jesus in our community. It really is not our light, it is Jesus’ light shining through us. The good deeds we do have to be about His glory and not ours, otherwise we miss the point. I know my sinful self gets in the way of that from time to time (daily), maybe yours does too.
When I hear stories and listen to people talk about the move of the congregation from New Hope to the corner of Schmidt Lake Road and Northwest Boulevard, I hear a common theme being shared. It was difficult to leave what was familiar. There was uncertainty. But the people at that time laid a good foundation and put their faith in God. The people of our congregation wanted to be a light in the community. They wanted to be Jesus’ light. They wanted a place for the community to come and feel welcome.
Making sure that our light doesn’t get covered by a basket is not as easy as it sounds. Opening our facility’s doors to the community brings with it many things that can try to cover that light. Having a community garden, providing a place for Pastor Mulbah and his church to worship, accommodating guests, in general, is difficult. It’s uncomfortable. It takes time, energy, and effort. It costs money. Plus, you never really know who might show up. They may not look, think, or be like us. Questions surface: How will we get our stuff done if there are other people here? In the space I want to use or have used? In my space?
I would like to share with you just a few of the many strong missional opportunities that happen here every week. Open Gym Volleyball, currently led by Steve and Cindy Dorfe, has been a growing group for over a decade. While the core group started as mostly people from Beautiful Savior, today there are over a hundred people—mostly from the community—who feel this is their home to play volleyball. While they are here they experience Jesus in our hospitality and in the bonds of friendship that are made. Open Gym Basketball, led by Tom O’Neill, has been underway for a little over a year. Tom is seeing the same things beginning to happen within his basketball group—more of Jesus’ light being shared.
We regularly host two AA groups, Red Cross Blood Drives, Wednesday evening community dinners, and many, many more activities. And we continue to look for ways to partner with people and organizations who work with and fit our mission and vision.
In the last few years we have become a home for Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). The men’s BSF previously met on Tuesday evenings and reached out to men from all over the area. Starting this fall, Plymouth Women’s Bible Study Fellowship will gather here—a group of 400 women with children—as well as a home school BSF group that will be meeting here Tuesday afternoons. Now, add in the Beautiful Savior Women’s Bible Study that will also be here Tuesday mornings, along with the 80 kids in the Child Development Center, the 80 parents who bring those kids, the 30-35 staff who walk in the doors each day, along with 10-15 deliveries, service people, and salesmen, and Beautiful Savior is a busy place! Adding all the ministries together with all the events and activities we host, our church is a busy, bright light in the community. It’s a busy place Sunday to Sunday.
I want to take a moment to better explain why being busy is a good thing.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church strives to be a place in the community that opens its doors and exists as part of the community. We open our doors to create opportunities. We open our doors to develop relationships. We open our doors to increase our opportunities to share the love and hope of Jesus. Every person who enters our doors is a blessing. They are a blessing because Jesus is bringing the mission field through our doors. Jesus is bringing the people to you. You don’t even have to go looking, just stop by and see God at work. And when you stop by, when you see new faces, see them as an opportunity for you to share, show, and be the living Christ. Your light is a reflection of Jesus’ light. We want people to see something different. Take a moment to be uncomfortable, to alter your plans, to seek the opportunity to be Jesus to all who come in our doors. Jesus commands us at the end of the passage from Matthew to let His light shine before all people. Let it shine so that His glory can shine.
Let us join together and continue the story. Let us be that city on the hill with a big, bright lamp filling up the sky, lighting up every shroud of darkness so that all who see it will see the glory of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They will see His deep, passionate love for all of us. They will see the Jesus we know and Who wants all of us to know Him.