Pastor Ed finished up his current series by giving us a double dose of “G’attitudes”! After a wonderful set of baptisms that officially christened our new “in-stage” baptismal pool (yes, that is correct no more horse trough) and a full praise and worship set (new sound system coming online next week), Ed presented in the last two of his “G’attitudes.” Attitudes that set the stage for Gateway as we engage our community in our new facility.
The first G’attitude, based in part on Deuteronomy 10:19 (“And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt”), was Hospitality.
Something that Gateway, as a church body has long been known for, Ed reminded us that we have always been strangers and “foreigners” from time to time throughout our lives. I know I myself only need to think back on every new school experience, every move, every new church, every new job, etc. It’s not hard to think of times when we have been the “new kid on the block” or the one on the outside looking in. It is also not hard to remember that special person who came along side you and “showed you the ropes” or made you feel welcome in some way.
Ed emphasized that many will come through the door in the days, weeks, months and years to come and as they enter it, part of each of our calling is to be one of those who come alongside and say “Hi, my name is ‘Ray’, welcome to Gateway. Can I show you around our home?”
The last G’attitude, based in part on 2 Corinthians 9:7 (“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”), was Generosity.
Again, something that has been a part of the Gateway DNA, Ed thanked the congregation for their consistent Generosity both financially and in action. Yet, he reminded us that we are just getting started and that now is the time to return to our knees and “give what you have decided in your heart to give.” He also reminded us that if everyone is leaning into God in this way and in this area, that Gateway will never be lacking in Kingdom resources.
Ed didn’t bring this up but, when I hear this text, I remember that the word translated as “cheerful” is the Greek word ἱλαρὸν or hilaron. This where we get our word hilarious from. So, if you want to look at it a little differently, “God loves a hilarious giver!” It always adds some emphasis for me. No matter the form our giving takes; money, deeds, prayer, etc., the joy with which we bring to that giving brings happiness to the heart of God.
Wrapping up the service, Ed noted we no long have to rush out of someone else’s building. We can stay and fellowship … for a while! How nice it is to be in our own home. Have a great week everyone!