A Prayer of Dedication

At our first service together, Matt shared a poem he wrote as a prayer as we begin this next chapter for our church.

These four walls cannot contain,
Nor were they ever intended to house,
Your glory and grace and power and truth and love for this community
117 years ago, brothers and sisters covenanted together to proclaim the grace of Christ
112 years ago, they put hammer to nail and paint to brush to build this home
A home not for you but for the wounded and broken and needy and proud
A place for their healing and hope and health and humbling
14,000 squared feet — a little plot of land
Placed their roots here until you return. In this spot where we stand.

And we, just a babe, find ourselves toddling in these halls
Laughing with joy and crying with desire
To love and serve these people you love
A people who have seen these brick walls
Yet need your Spirit to build
Their lives and their hopes and their dreams

So when we open these doors—May we open our hearts
When we was down these aisles—May we walk in repentance
When we sit in these pews—May we sit under grace
When we ring this bell—May we call all people from all walks of life
When we stand together—May we be strengthened in courage
When sing songs of redemption—May we mean what we sing
When we pray our confessions—May we acknowledge our need
When we hear your word proclaimed—May our ears be unstopped
When we come to your table—May we receive from your fullness
When we hear your Good Word—May we be washed in its beauty
When we are sent out—May we know that you are there

For these walls cannot contain you,
No Temple. No Tabernacle. No Burning Bush. No Garden.
For you are the Architect, the Builder, the Custodian.
You are faithful to your people.
Enough for our need.
Worthy of the praises that echo down these halls

Keep us humble.
Keep us hope-filled.
Keep us grateful.
Keep us free.
From the bondage of self-service and self-preservation
From the need to be right and the tearing down of each other
Bind us together as one Body in Christ
Unified by your Spirit
Keep gossip and slander and division at bay
Keep honesty, humility, and sacrifice our way

No doubt our enemy will seek to quench this flame
His minions and wiles will try to pull the nails from this frame
He hates our Redeemer and hates his people
We need your strength and courage and pride-killing cross
To make us like our Suffering King
Who perpetually loves

Finding our heart’s deepest longings fulfilled at the Cross
And the tomb that was empty, suffered its loss
For life is never contained, but always out there
In the highways and by-ways,
At the feasts and the parties and the crumbs at the table
We come together for worship and building each other in faith
We go together for worship and building more in this love
Bring us here to bring us home
But always and ever send us out there.

Brannon McAllister